Hands down, this is one of Canada’s best-made chardonnays. Glinting pale gold in the glass, it’s aromatically gorgeous with honeysuckle, lemon curd, flint and toast—a hint of reduction, subtle oak spice and distinct mineral complexity mark this as something special. In the mouth, it’s tight and bracing, showing ripe apple, pear and peach, lemon verbena and a saline signature on the finish. With lip-smacking lemony acidity, creamy-mid palate swell, and graceful, adorning oak, this 2019 McLean edition vineyard impresses with both restraint and generous fruit. Notable body and intensity make this a fine dinner candidate. I recently tasted this blind in a competition setting, and my barely legible shorthand had words like ‘exciting,’ ‘energy,’ and ‘gorgeous nose.’ McLean Creek Road Vineyard is a superb, steep, rocky site in Okanagan Falls, planted in 1994. Steel fermented then slipped into fine French oak (only 22% new) to fatten up on the lees for nearly a year. Yes, Meyer’s Micro Cuvée from this vineyard is supremely head-turning, but this more affordable and accessible bottling has class and style to spare. Deserving of crab cakes, lemony roasted chicken, or aloo gobi.
Score: 92 points -- DJ Kearney, gismondionwine.com, 2021