A Pinot with plenty of personality

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Valued wine: The Wagner Family of Wine's Meiomi brand, including the 2011 Bella Glos Pinot Noir, was introduced as a more value-conscious style with many of the attributes of the single-vineyard wines. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

Caymus Vineyards in Rutherford, Calif. has a long legacy of producing finely crafted Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. Charlie Wagner purchased 26 acres of vineyards in Napa and along with his wife, Loma Bella Glos Wagner, and young son, Chuck, founded Caymus Vineyards in 1971. They released their first Estate Cabernet the following year.

As the family assets expanded, the Wagners established a Chardonnay program and revived their Pinot Noir initiative in 2001. Chuck’s oldest son directed winemaking for Mer Soleil Chardonnay while his other son, Joe, managed the Belle Glos Pinot Noirs, named after their grandmother. These wines were grouped under the umbrella of the Wagner Family of Wines.

Joe Wagner, now a fifth-generation winemaker, farms three distinct vineyard designated Pinot Noirs under the Bella Glos label: Taylor Lane, Clark & Telephone and Los Alturos. While most will attest to the exquisite quality of these classic coastal Pinot Noirs they didn’t fit within the budget for some consumers.

The Meiomi brand was introduced as a more value-conscious style with many of the attributes of the single vineyard wines. The fruit is sourced from Monterey County, Santa Barbara County and Sonoma Coast and is presented in a screw cap design. The consistency of this Pinot is remarkable with the dark fruit being generous and ripe. Cherry blossom, boysenberry and crushed red plums are integrated between layers of warm milk chocolate and vanilla. This is a broad shouldered Pinot Noir with a juicy flavor profile and plenty of personality.

Suggested Retail: $19.99

W. Peter Hoyne has been a wine journalist for over 20 years, covering stories of national and international significance. While his professional relationships in the wine industry have allowed him to share a unique perspective of wine, he is also intrigued by the culinary aspect and harmony that exist between wine and food. As a wine advocate, he is committed to consumer education and is focused on upcoming trends and American wine-buying habits.