There are currently six American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) within Santa Barbara County: Santa Maria Valley and the Santa Ynez Valley which itself is comprised of four sub-AVAs: Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon. Much of the county is great for growing cool climate grapes such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Further inland other varietals have the ability to ripen fully, such as the Petite Sirah from Epiphany. All wineries in this county tend to concentrate on wines of the Pinot family. The Meiomi wines made by the Wagner family are actually blends of grapes from Santa Barbara, Monterey and Sonoma.
2016 Meiomi Chardonnay
List price 18.00; our price 14.99
Meiomi pulls fruit from the 3 counties mentioned above to blend into wines that are elegant, balanced and unique. These coastal wine regions contribute their own individual characteristics in contributing to a multifaceted wine. Sonoma County contributes notes of crisp apple and lean minerality, while Santa Barbara County gives exotic sweet spice and lively tropical fruit notes. Monterey County creates the ripe stone fruit core and round, creamy texture. The result here is clean and sleek, with silky texture and subtle acidity.
Tasting Panel gives it a 90 point rating.
2015 Mer Soleil Chardonnay Reserve, Santa Barbara Co.
List price 20.00; our price 17.99
This wine opens with warm, lush scents of apricots and spice, layered with notes of honeysuckle and a hint of toasted bread. The entry on the palate is mouth-coating and creamy. Ripe fruit flavors of apricot and peach are perfectly balanced by a vibrant acidity, making this wine both luxurious and bright. The finish is unusually long, filling the mouth with a soft fruitiness and lingering natural acidity. Wine Spectator gives it 90 points: “This offers a nice balance between rich buttery notes and concentrated white fruit flavors that are lavishly spiced. Nutmeg and dried sage details show on the finish. Drink now through 2021.”
2015 Mer Soleil Chardonnay Reserve, Santa Lucia Highlands
List price 30.00; our price 27.99
Another 90-point wine, this time from Vinous: “Ripe peach, melon and a hint of succulent flowers on the nose, along with hints of smoky lees and vanilla in the background. Smooth, open-knit and seamless in texture, offering juicy orchard and pit fruit flavors that are sharpened by a jolt of bitter lemon pith. The vanilla note recurs on the finish, which hangs on with very good, floral-dominated persistence.” This wine, fills the mouth with oak-laced tropical fruit flavors, and continues on to a long finish ending with a hint of spice.
2017 Meiomi Rosé
List price 22.00; our price 17.99
The Rosé bursts with vibrant, floral aromas and mouthwatering fruit flavors of strawberry, cranberry and watermelon. It is an off-dry Rosé that offers a touch of honey and silkiness on the palate, complemented by bright acidity and notes of rose petal and orange peel.
2016 Meiomi Pinot Noir
List price 20.00; our price 17.99
The wine opens to reveal fruit aromas of bright strawberry and jammy fruit, mocha, and vanilla, along with toasty oak notes. Expressive boysenberry, blackberry, dark cherry, strawberry, and toasty mocha flavors lend complexity and depth on the palate. Well-integrated oak provides structure and depth seldom seen in Pinot.
2015 Epiphany Petite Sirah, Rodney’s Vineyard
List price 30.00; our price 26.99
This deep inky opaque purple, super-concentrated wine is very young but wonderful now. It is loaded with rich blackberries and currants with hints of cassis and chocolate. It will improve considerably with age.
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