The story of Elouan begins back when former owner and winemaker Joseph “Joey” Wagner was 19, the age at which he first started working with his father at Napa Valley’s legendary Caymus winery.
Not long after that, in the year 2006, Joey struck out on his own, founding his own wildly popular label, Meiomi.
After ramping up production and finding a very enthusiastic fan base, Joey Wagner sold the Meiomi brand to Constellation Brands, one of the largest carriers in the world of wine, beer, and spirits, in 2005.
The brand remains incredibly popular today and has a dedicated following.
Meiomi Pinot Noir Review
This is definitely an atypical, hedonistic style for Pinot Noir.
I would not be surprised if there was a bit of a more robust grape, such as Petite Sirah, blended in the mix to help bump up the body and the complexity of the wine.
The wine is incredibly dense and dark in the glass, which the winery attributes to using cold-soaking methods during the winemaking process.
Given a good swirl, the wine develops intense, thick legs in the glass, which settle and fall quickly.
The wine smells particularly jammy and a bit sweet. There are aromas of stewed cherries, sweet strawberry candies, rich milk chocolate, and heavy, toasted oak present.
Distinctly New World in style, the fruitier and richer aromas sit in the forefront here, though there are some nice secondary aromatics of baking spice, such as nutmeg and cinnamon.
This is definitely a rich Pinot Noir through and through. There is higher residual sugar here than there is in most Pinot, and the body is incredibly hefty, even for California juice.
There are notes of intense maraschino cherries, overripe strawberries, and cocoa powder which come through immediately.
After that, you get plums, ripe blueberries, allspice, and cinnamon, framing up the tasting experience.
The finish is incredibly long and sits with you for quite a while after your final sip.
There is also a bit of warmth here from the alcohol, which I was not expecting considering that, while high for a Pinot Noir, the abv isn’t through the ceiling.
What Does Meiomi Pinot Noir Pair With?
This is a pretty easy bottle as far as food pairings go.
Due to the heft and robust fruit here, I would recommend pairing it with simpler, hearty comfort foods.
For an easy Tuesday night option, go for a nice, juicy hamburger topped with smoked gouda and a side of fries and call it a day.
It also does especially well with fried chicken, lamb chops, and beef stew.
What Are Wines That Are Similar to Meiomi Pinot Noir?
I would recommend trying some of Joey Wagner’s other offerings.
Many old-school fans of Meiomi have told me that it just doesn’t taste the same as it used to, and I have had a lot of success playing with the rest of his portfolio.
Eloun and Boen both come to mind and are similar as far as both flavor profile and price point.
For a bit of a step up from there, I would try his Belle Glos line. They are all single-vineyard offerings sourced from highly notable sites in California.
If you want to really ramp up the intensity while keeping a lot of the same fruit profile, I recommend trying Petite Sirah.
It is big, inky dark, and incredibly rich, though with more structure than this particular bottle.
Petite Sirah is also the secret sauce in a lot of notable blends, including Abstract, Dreaming Tree Crush, and Bogle’s Phantom.
This is a wildly popular bottle, and I can see why. It has some serious mass appeal and is incredibly drinkable.
It wasn’t for me personally, but I am admittedly a bigger fan of the French stuff than American when it comes to Pinot Noir.