I think the key to this wine lies in what Vinous says about its big brother, the $50 Mer Soleil Pinot Noir Reserve:
Definitely on the rich side as Pinot goes, but there's unlikely energy here as well.
In other words, this will satisfy those who love the richer, darker, “Cabernet lovers’” style of Pinot Noir made by Charlie’s brother at Belle Glos and Boen. BUT it will also resonate with those who find most Pinots in this style unrepresentative, if not downright unnatural.
This is WAY (and I mean miles) more substantial than the original Meiomi Pinot Noirs (not to mention the ghosts of them echoed in Meiomi today). But it’s also a real Pinot Noir.
“Sea and Sun,” by the way (in French Mer Soleil), refers to the conditions of these coastal vineyards that make then ideal for growing Pinot Noir: the coolness from the ocean and the long hours of California sunshine that allow the grapes to slowly but fully ripen.
Here’s what Vivino says:
I had the pleasure of tasting this wine at the Caymus HQ with Charlie Wagner, and he's delivered a knockout Pinot Noir for Under $40, let alone under $20! An exhilarating Pinot Noir that can stand shoulder to shoulder with top bottlings from acclaimed regions of California, sourced primarily from Monterey – ocean-influenced and ideal for producing this varietal.
Leveraging a Cabernet playbook, this marries juicy, bold red fruit—fresh strawberry, cranberry, dark cherry—with vanilla, brown spices, and hints of oak, wrapped up in silky tannins.
Bingo. This one really is a knockout.