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Meyer Family Vineyards Basic Pinot Noir 2018: Plain Jane?

The newly released Meyer Family Vineyard 2018 Pinot Noir from the Okanagan in British Columbia is what you might want to refer to it as its basic label. Does cheap necessarily have to taste cheap?

Well I suppose there is one way to determine that and that is to taste it.

It is ruby coloured.

Despite its relatively light colour its nose speaks loudly of raspberry coulis, strawberry, black cherry and just a tiny dose of freshly ground Kicking Horse coffee beans.

On the palate plenty of raspberry jam and very ripe strawberries. A short finish with a hint of pepper. A bit of sweetness in the mid palate. Like the 2018 McClean Creek Road Gewürztraminer it seems there is some dainty but noticeable acidity. Tannins are about neutral.

The winery suggests drink up to 2024 but given its lack of tannins I am worried that its acidity could develop in an unpleasant way. I beg to differ and say drink by the end of 2020.

Bear in mind 2018 was not a particularly good year for grapes in the Okanagan with nearby forest fire smoke blocking out a good deal of sunshine. The smoke remained prevalent until mid October and the usual saving grace weather of September did not materialize. The Pinot Noir had to hang longer than normal. So being honest it wasn’t a great year.

At harvest the grapes were de-stemmed via gravity into small open top fermenters and allowed to cold soak after which an indigenous ferment lasted for 18-28 days. Hand plunging of the must occurred throughout. The wine spent eight months in seasoned French oak.

The fruit was sourced from six different vineyards in the Okanagan Valley

Again like the Gewürztraminer referred to above I see this as a foody wine particularly because of its acidity. What comes to mind is an eggplant sandwich topped with garlic infused Vegan Mayo.

Yes I have had better Meyer Pinot Noirs but given the weather and forest fires they salvaged a very decent although a bit quirky Pinot Noir. And their spec sheets tell it like it is and I appreciate that honesty. A rather larger 2,600 cases made which is high for Meyer.

Best order from the winery at

The wine was not a Plain Jane and through skillful winemaking and blending a good Pinot Noir was produced. I have had better from Meyer but Mother Nature can’t kiss each vintage with perfection. If it did wine would be really not much fun. Wine is a living product and unlike the majority of cannabis produced in Canada subsists with the natural elements. Man working with and sometimes against the elements!

(Meyer Family Vineyards 2018 Pinot Noir, Meyer Family Vineyards, Okanagan Falls British Columbia, $22.71, 13.5%, 750 mL, Set The Bar Rating 88/100).

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