I’m not normally much of a fan of Pinot Noir. It’s notoriously fussy to grow and turn into wine, can be unreliable even once it’s bottled, and to my palate it’s usually spicy and sharp rather than round and rich. I’m surprised it isn’t blended more often.
However, when I tried this wine, I honestly thought the pronunciation of “Meiomi” was going to be a cute take on “My, oh, my,” because it’s so extremely good. Actually, the name is pronounced “May-OH-me,” like Naomi, but a rose by any other name is still … oh, you know.
This incredibly delicious wine has layers of complexity and joy. As is the case with so many reds, it began with a sweet-ish impression, but very quickly the wine opened up and morphed into a huge, silky, smooth, and dangerously drinkable wine. Dark fruits, figs, vanilla, oak, pipe tobacco, cola, coffee—faint whiffs of truffles, cedar, and earth—notes of flowers and pumpkin-pie spices.
I shouldn’t have been surprised at its excellence, because, even more than the Liberty School wines (see the September 10 “wine tasting” post), this is a Caymus offspring. In 1972, Chuck Wagner founded Caymus with his parents—and his son, Joe Wagner, a fifth-generation winemaker, started working the wines when he was a youngster, learning the basics including pulling leaves and dragging hoses. Joe is now the owner of Meiomi and Belle Glos, and continues his role at Caymus in viticulture and winemaking alongside his Dad.
FRONT LABEL NOTES: “Unifying three of California’s most notable coastal areas, from the maritime mist of Sonoma, to the chilly fog of Santa Barbara and the howling winds of Monterey in between, these Pinot Noir vineyards lay the foundation for one dynamic blend. With a soft hand in the cellar and aged in French barrels, the wine evolves into an elegant balance of spice and fruit, weight and restraint with grace and opulence.”
BACK LABEL NOTES: [A blend of Pinot Noir from three appellations—47% Sonoma County, 34% Santa Barbara County, and 19% Monterey County—the wine’s name means] “coast” in the language of the California Wappo tribe, [symbolizing] the origin of this Pinot Noir. Each of the vineyards chosen for Meiomi offer the best expression of their appellations along the California coast: a layered blend of Santa Barbara’s spice-filled aromas; Sonoma’s bright berry flavors; and Monterey’s rich textures.
So in a way, it’s a blend after all.
WEB SITE: Visit the Web site for details on the soils, clones, barrels, and more. Interesting stuff. Mer Soleil, Silver, and Conundrum are listed along with Belle Glos and Meiomi in the Wagner family of wines.
NOTE: The label is more cream-colored than yellow. Couldn’t figure out how to Photoshop my shot to depict it more accurately. I’ll work on it! 🙂