Okay, you saw the name and immediately made your guess on its pronunciation. It’s the word “coast” (phonetically ‘May-OH-mee‘) in the language of California’s Wappo tribe and an apt title for this blend of grapes from three of California’s leading regions–Sonoma County (26%), Santa Barbara County (23%), and Monterrey County (51%). Many of their best qualities are swirled together in this winner, which we’ve luckily sampled over the course of the last three evenings.
Friday it accompanied hors d’oeuvres–cheeses and olives and whatnot–and struck such a chord with us that the Meiomi actually stuck around for our fabulous salmon dinner. Peppered perfectly, the salmon had baked just to taste. It wasn’t so dry that it flaked at fork touch, nor so rare that it resembled sashimi (which I do love). A vegetable medley of red peppers, green onions, broccoli, and baby potatoes rounded out the meal and was a great backdrop for the Pinot Noir. This may seem like an unlikely pairing to some but it worked very effectively.
Meiomi must be shaped in part by Joseph J. Wagner, a fifth-generation winemaker whose family has deep roots in Napa Valley. He did a great job if he had a hand in this one. Dark, pungent, and earthy, this spicy Pinot Noir has genuine oomph to it. It’s not some weak-bellied Pinot that goes easy on the flavor. To the contrary, it’s muscular. It’s substantive. It announces its presence as soon as the bottle is uncorked, and you can tell just from the initial waft of dark cherry or blackberry (or the like) and its spicy undertones that you are in for a treat. If you are more biased toward vanilla hints and strawberry-tasting Pinots this is not really your bag but if you like your reds to give a good shot in the arm this is it.
The Meiomi worked just as effectively the next night accompanying a local pizza pie, and again the next with a marinated pork loin that was grilled in the hot July evening. I’d put it in my top 10 for sure and have to think about a larger move if I had the good fortune to sample another bottle. Get yours today.