(pictured:MFV’s tasting room hostesses, Monica Horning (L) and Jeanna Campbell.)
Only club members are privy to a tasting of the winery’s inaugural Riesling, a single-vineyard release sourced from a Naramata Bench vineyard.
Riesling is a step outside the box for MFV. After just eight years in operation, owners JAK Meyer and his wife, Janice Stevens-Meyer, are building a strong reputation for working with the chief varietals of Burgundy—Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
“What we really focus on trying to showcase is the difference in terroir,” said Monica Horning, wine club and event coordinator.
The philosophy is paying dividends. The 2011 McLean Creek Chardonnay won a Platinum Medal at the 2013 National Wine Awards and was named best Chardonnay in Canada. The 2012 McLean Creek Chardonnay is consistently scoring well with wine critics like The Globe and Mail’s Beppi Crosariol, who awarded it a 92-point score and offered a luscious description of a wine “soft and seductive, with come-hither tropical fruit followed by buttered popcorn and toasty, doughy bread.”
Praise like this draws wine club members nationwide, so some releases will be members only as the small lot focus limits stock. There are only 144 cases of the Riesling and 113 of the Steven’s Block Chardonnay.
“The Steven’s Block Chardonnay is very special to JAK and Janice as it’s the first vintage from this Naramata block,” said Horning.
In 2006, the couple purchased three acres of Chardonnay at Old Main Road Vineyard on the Naramata Bench and planted one more acre calling it “Stevens Block” after Janice’s family name. Based on a picturesque vineyard in the hills of Okanagan Falls on McLean Creek Road, MFV names its wines by location to accentuate the focus on terroir.
Winemaker Chris Carson, who trained in New Zealand and follows the traditional process of Burgundy vintners, builds each varietal with precision so the soils, microclimates and topography of the blocks shine through.
Thus, the Reimer Vineyard Pinot Noir, sourced from East Kelowna, displays a deep purple hue with sharp notes on a full bouquet of fruit whereas the McLean Creek Pinot Noir is a complex wine with an earthy minerality, though the winemaking process is the same.
Altogether, MFV racks four Pinot Noirs and five Chardonnays, a newly released Rosé, Gewürztraminer and Riesling.
The Rosé is 85% Merlot, 15% Gewürztraminer, and only on the skins for four days for a soft coral glow. Stop in for a taste or join the wine club at www.mfvwines.com.
~ Jennifer Smith