Rob Campbell, the longtime winemaker at Amador County’s Story Winery, is the descendant of both Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo Indians that lived mostly in Marin and Sonoma Counties. In 1919 he started his own winery, Meyye Wines, in El Dorado County with beautiful, unique labels that honor these tribes and their heritage. [Meyye is “bird” in Coast Miwok.] The labels use Coast Miwok names for birds common to the region where they lived. Rob’s grandfather spoke both Coast Miwok and Southern Pomo. As Rob told Sonoma’s Press-Democrat, “I’m using Coast Miwok names for my wines so that people will actually be forced to speak a language that was considered extinct.”
Meyye is a small producer (under one thousand cases) with two wines sourced from Amador County and two from Sonoma County. The Amador County wines are Palachchak (woodpecker), a rich Zinfandel, and Sokootok (quail), a flavorful Rhone style blend. The Sonoma County wines are Kuluppis (hummingbird), a layered Chardonnay, and Omay (brown pelican), a Pinot Noir. Given Rob’s 30 year experience making Zinfandel and other big reds at Story Winery, we especially like his bold Amador County wines. Our reviews follow.
Meyye 2015 Palachchak Shenandoah Valley AVA ($70) 91 Medium dark red. Ripe red fruit, toasted nuts, and a hint of vanilla combine to provide a richly aromatic entrance to this wine. The palate is bold yet soft and packed with ripe, ripe fruit complemented by notes of cola, chocolate, and dried grapes. Finishes very dry. Handles the alcohol well. A blend of 95% Zinfandel and 5% Syrah from vineyards in Amador County. 110 cs. 15.5% alc.
Meyye 2018 Sokootok Red Blend Sierra Foothills ($60) 93 Medium dark red color and showing a dark, red fruited nose. This is a mouth filling wine with good balance and freshness. It has a silky mouth feel and delicious flavors of red and black plum along with berry fruit on the palate. Fine firm tannins. A Rhone blend of 50% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 10% Petite Syrah, 9% Counoise and 3% Zinfandel from Amador County vineyards. 110cs. 14.1% alc.
Meyye 2020 Kuluppis Chardonnay Carneros AVA ($55) 89 Medium yellow color. Aromas recall honeyed stone fruit and toasted nuts. Soft on entry with a lush, creamy palate reminiscent of a good traditional California Chardonnay, but honeyed oak dominates the fruit on this wine. Sourced from Sangiacomo Vineyards’ Kiser Ranch on the Sonoma side of the Carneros AVA. 75 cs. 14.7% alc.
Meyye 2019 ‘Omay Pinot Noir Petaluma Gap ($75) 91 Light ruby red in color, the ‘Omay opens with vibrant scents of dried cherry, red plum and a hint of tomato leaf. The warm and softly textured palate continues the theme with more dried red cherry and red berry flavors. Finishes medium long and dry. Sourced from a first-class vineyard–100% Pommard clone from Sangiacomo Vineyards’ Roberts Road Vineyard in Penngrove. Would be even better if picked earlier to give an additional note of freshness. 125 cs. 14.2% alc.