Set The Bar
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Meyer Family Vineyards: Back Again with a Top-Notch Gewürztraminer

If you have read my past columns Meyer Family Vineyards in the Okanagan in British Columbia produces ultimate high-quality Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. In fact I might have said they were so outstanding why go to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay heaven in Burgundy France (or Oregon) for the “Holy Grail” versions of the same wine that disappoint unless you start getting into the three-digit dollar figures.

Well I have received four samples from Meyer and its time to dig down again.

In this case a 2018 McLean Creek Road Gewürztraminer. I love a good Gewurtz with its tropical notes. I had a recent one from Vineland Estates in Niagara and it was its own unique laid back and restrained Gewurtz. It was excellent. What about a British Columbia Gewürztraminer?

This Gewurtz has a light gold colour.

On the nose a so very classic aroma of peach, apricot, mango with just a bit of guava and mango. How could you not fall in love with this wine?

On the palate all I have said on the nose with some bracing acidity that stabilizes all the rich tropical notes. A medium finish with honeyed notes persisting. This wine is built for food and in that sense is a very Euro traditional wine. My various Euro media trips have taught me wine most often there is built for food and particularly local cuisine. In this case with a low 3 grams of residual sugar per litre this in no floozy but an upstanding citizen ready to pledge allegiance to the right food.

Now not being from the Okanagan nor having visited there on a media trip what the local cuisine is not known to me. But from on Ontario perspective I would say grilled rabbit properly butchered and coated with a sauce of Dijon mustard, tarragon and yogurt might be a nirvana! Another divine match would be a Moroccan chicken with a glazed clementine sauce. For fellow vegheads a cauliflower chicken wing bash with BBQ sauce and vegan ranch dressing might be suggested.

On a personal note let me say in the past few days I have been dwelling on the consistency of good wine in the past few years. Flying winemakers circulate the globe bringing up the quality of wines but quite frankly many wines ae beginning to taste the same. Good wines but exciting? I think not.

Recently some wines in the Campania region of Italy have caught my attention. Ontario wines fail to ignite much passion.

Caught in a sea of boredom Meyer Family Vineyards has reignited some passion with its Alsatian influenced but restrained Canadian take on Gewürztraminer. In this case I am not saying bypass[RS1]  Alsace for your Gewürztraminer but tap into a British Columbian version.

2018 was a tough vintage and forest fires dimmed out much sunlight and September still suffered from smoke and poor weather. These grapes were hand harvested on September 27th and October 9th. The wine was crafted from a southwest heritage block of vines planted on the estate McLean Road Vineyard in 1994 with German vine cuttings. The vineyard is comprised of alluvial and glacial deposits making up a mix of gravel and sandy loam. Both lots were combined and a long cool indigenous fermentation occurred in stainless steel and older seasoned French oak barrels lasting five weeks.

360 cases were produced. The winery suggests drink now through 2020. I think much depends on the acidity in the wine. If it is going to tame down the wine could clam down and mature into 2025. There is the risk the acidity may lead to oxidization. I’d stick with Meyer’s 2020 date.

At this price are they giving the shop away? To order check out

(Meyer Family Vineyards 2018 McLean Creek Road Gewürztraminer, Meyer Family Vineyards, Okanagan Falls, British Columbia, $ 15.75, 13%, 750 mL, Set The Bar Rating 92/100).


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