The Exceptional Wines of Meyye

Rob Campbell was the winemaker at Story Wines in Amador county before founding Meyye Wines, a new venture which honors his Coastal Miwok/Southern Pomo tribal heritage. He's launched with four exceptional wines from estate vineyards in various Northern California regions. The word "Meyye" (pronounced may-yea) signifies 'bird' in the Coastal Miwok language, and each wine features a label that celebrates a native bird from each vineyard's area. 

These wines were made in minute quantities and are available exclusively via Meyye's website. And, given the vintages, they offer a neat opportunity to enjoy wines with a little bit of age on them.

Whenever tasting multiple wines from the same producer, I look for commonalities, as they suggest what the maker is prioritizing. With Meyye, the quality of the vineyards shines through in all the wines. It's clear that Rob knows these places well, and chose the vineyards for their character and suitability for the varieties. My one gripe with this lineup is the heavy bottles used, an unnecessary and environmentally-unfriendly practice I hope to see less and less of.

Now, on to the wines!

2020 Meyye Chardonnay Los Carneros Sonoma 'Kuluppis' $55
Pronounced kuh-luu-pee, this 100% chardonnay comes from the Sangiacomo Vineyards at Kiser Ranch, and it shows. Very pale in the glass, with a coy nose that leans towards finesse. In the mouth, however, what was mistaken for shyness is revealed to be grace. This white exudes an elegance rare among California chardonnays. While still true to varietal character, its clean lines and brilliance suggest sourcing from an extraordinary vineyard site. Among the very best domestic chardonnays I've had. 75 cases produced. Bravo!

2019 Meyye Pinot Noir Petaluma Gap 'Omay' $75
Pronounced oh-may this 100% pinot Pommard clone was grown in the Roberts Road vineyard in Penngrove just outside Rohnert Park, the area Campbell’s ancestors have called home for thousands of years. Elegant garnet in the glass with a blushing of rust, not unlike an aged Brunello. The nose is high-toned and clean, with attractive floral and spice elements. But the palate offers a counterpoint; striking a lower frequency chord that warms and comforts. Relaxed fruit, dried rose petals, cherries and cola all ride atop a sultry texture. The finish echoes like a hawk's call into a rock-lined canyon. Well made, complex and lovely. 125 cases made.

2018 Meyye Rhone Blend Amador County 'Sokootok' $60 
Pronounced show-koh-tock this blend of grenache (50%), syrah (20%), petite sirah (10%), and counoise (9%) with a dash of zin is from the Sierra Nevada Mountain foothills, which is an often-overlooked region that happens to produce some really interesting and well-priced red wines. This is a perfect example. The epitome of Sierra foothills character, this blend is spicy, dusty, of medium density, with round flavors and a creamy texture. The lingering echoes on the finish make it easy to conjure images of redwood trees. As a 2018 Vintage, it's already got nearly 5 years under its belt, yet remains remarkably fresh. Impressive. 150 cases made

2015 Meyye Zinfandel Shenandoah Valley 'Palachchak' $70 
Pronounced pah-lah-chak, this is, without a doubt, the best Zinfandel I have had in more than a decade. Deep translucent purple in the glass, it looks like any other red wine, but one whiff of the intriguing, dusty nose is all it takes for infatuation to take hold. Supple texture, almost certainly due to its age, it carries a full range of flavors from basso profundo to pretty whispers in voce soprano. Medium bodied, but full-flavored, the energy grips you tenderly. The finish is long, sultry, and inviting, tempting you back for more. This is a full package. Impressive, especially at this ABV. 110 cases made.