Budget-Friendly Pinot Noir

Today’s Story: Meiomi

Meiomi was established in 2006 by Joe Wagner while he was working for his father Chuck at Caymus Vineyards. Coincidentally, Meiomi sort of spawned, in a way, from Belle Glos which was a Joe Wagner single-vineyard Pinot Noir project whose 2017 Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir I reviewed in The Caymus of Pinot Noir. Anyway, Meiomi is named for the native Wappo word for “coastal” and their Pinot Noir is sourced from Monterey County, Santa Barbara County, and Sonoma County to this end. Meiomi was founded with the goal of producing reliable and financially accessible wines for the masses, at a time when Pinot Noir drinkers cherished bright berry sweetness in their wines which could pair with a broad range of foods. By 2010, Meiomi sold roughly 90,000 cases per year and that number stretched to 700,000 cases annually by 2015. In July, 2015, Wagner sold Meiomi to Constellation Brands for $315 million and under their ownership the brand continues to churn out easy-drinking, people-pleasing, fruit-forward wines that also include Chardonnay and Rosé.

Today’s Wine: 2017 Pinot Noir

100% Pinot Noir; 13.7% ABV

The 2017 Pinot Noir is pale ruby in color and moderately transparent. A geographic blend, the fruit for this bottling is sourced from Monterey County (56%), Santa Barbara County (26%), and Sonoma County (18%). On the nose, I get aromas of jammy strawberry and raspberry, bing cherry, red licorice, loose rocky soil, slight peppery spice, iron, vanilla bean, mocha, and oak. Once on the palate, the wine showcases notes of candied cherry, strawberry, blackberry jam, boysenberry, clay, clove, green underbrush, and new oak. This wine is medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, light tannins, and a medium length finish.

Price: $17. This is a budget-friendly, food-friendly, and people-pleasing wine meant for large summer barbecue yard parties, family gatherings, or perhaps people first exploring approachable Californian Pinot Noir. Keep in mind this drinks like a cocktail with its jammy and syrupy notes. Pair this with pizza, tomato-based pasta dishes, or barbecue chicken.

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