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Flat front label of wine

Mer Soleil Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
  • WE92
14.5% ABV
  • WS88
  • WE93
  • WS90
  • WE92
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • WE93
  • WE94
  • WS93
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3.9 28 Ratings
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3.9 28 Ratings
14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A rich, buttery, barrel fermented Chardonnay with a sunny California profile. This wine has a citrus driven nose with hints of pineapple, banana and coconut cream pie. Soft and round entry. The oak is apparent, but not defining. The mid-palate goes on to reveal other layers of flavors of vanilla, lemon meringue pie and again coconut. The finish is rich with viscosity that coats the mouth for minutes after your last sip. Enjoy slightly chilled.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Oak brings strong buttered toast and vanilla flavors to this Chardonnay. But it's also a powerhouse from the vineyard, with massive orange, pineapple and apricot flavors. May even have some botrytis, to judge from the honeyed sweetness. Yet for all the opulence, the finish is dry.
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Mer Soleil

Mer Soleil

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Mer Soleil, Central Coast, California
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The Mer Soleil Vineyard is named for two natural forces that create its growing conditions: sea (mer) and sun (soleil). With plantings at two separate locations in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County, Mer Soleil’s Chardonnay vines are nestled on east-facing lower slopes of the Sierra de Salinas range in what is one of the coolest, driest grape growing areas in California. During the growing season, warmer inland temperatures at the southern end of the Salinas Valley pull cooling morning and evening fogs into the vineyards. The afternoons, in contrast, are evenly warm and sunny. The absence of rain throughout the long growing season—harvest typically continues into November—and a pattern of brisk afternoon breezes keeps the grapes dry and pristine.

Charlie Wagner II is the winemaker and directs vineyard operations at Mer Soleil

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

RPT10340406_2009 Item# 113542