Wine: Meiomi Pinot Noir
Grape: Pinot noir
Region: Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara counties, Calif.
Availability: Lee’s Discount Liquors
In the glass: Meiomi Pinot Noir is a deep, brooding purplish-inky red color with a completely opaque blackish core going out into an intense fuchsia rim definition with a medium-high viscosity.
On the nose: It shows prominent and concentrated black fruit crush with dominance by boysenberries, candied cranberries, jammy cherry, raspberry liqueur like Chambord and oodles of freshly picked violets and red flowers, all pretty fruit and floral, no earth or minerals here.
On the palate: This wine is a big palate-coating mouthful of black fruit medley, like a smoothie of boysenberries, blackberries, raspberries and marionberries with violet pastilles for dimension. It has a young and vivacious midpalate with yet more sweetish fruit and boysenberry sorbet, raspberry coulis and vanilla from oak, going into the lingering and delicious finish. Solid effort here, no question about it.
Odds and ends: Just last week I was at Caymus Vineyards with my friend Chuck Wagner. A couple of days after I had visited him, his beloved mother, Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, died, almost 98 years old. This column is an homage to her and her family and to all they have done for Napa and California wine since 1964 when they first planted vines there and from 1972 when they founded Caymus. Her grandson Joe Wagner is responsible for this wonderful Meiomi Pinot Noir, which is named for the indigenous Wappo tribe’s word for “coast.” In fact, five of her grandchildren are winemakers today and work with their father producing standalone famous brands such as Conundrum, Belle Glos (named for her), Mer Soleil, Silver and, of course, Caymus. The Wagners will miss their matriarch, but she lives on in the tremendous wines the family craft every year, now with Chuck as the patriarch and scion of this great Napa clan. This highly recommended Meiomi Pinot has just been released from the winery and is still young. It is a vibrant and easy-drinking pinot — yet rich and powerful — made of grapes from three counties, all adding their own special character to the wine. Try it with a grilled veal chop on a bed of mashed potatoes. Drink now through 2020.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.