Mer Soleil Reserve Pinot Noir 2018
A vibrant cranberry hue, this wine features scents of fresh cherry tarte and toasted wood, with a caramelized sweetness of vanilla. The nose is undeniably Santa Lucia Highlands - a wet stone minerality and subtle oceanic character evoke fresh breezes off the Pacific, signaling this wine's cool coastal origin. Opening texture of slight graphite awakens every part of the palate. Entry is fresh, yet integrated with mouth-filling creaminess. On the finish, toasted bread notes balance the wisp of natural acidity and cherry tarte echoing the nose.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Mer Soleil began in the late 1980s, with a journey to the central coast of California in search of ideal conditions to plant Chardonnay. Our first vineyards were in the Santa Lucia Highlands, a small but exceptional appellation about a 30-minute drive from Monterey. With morning fog, bright sunshine and howling gusts of afternoon wind, the region’s dramatic weather leads to an extended growing season, enabling us to make wines with distinctive aromas and flavors.
In addition to our Reserve Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands, we recently introduced a Reserve Pinot Noir, also from the Santa Lucia Highlands. Our SILVER unoaked Chardonnay comes from Monterey County – it is fermented and aged in a combination of stainless steel and concrete tanks. Mer Soleil is led by Owner and Winemaker Charlie Wagner, who is passionate about how these wines celebrate the remarkable landscape and character of the Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey coast.
Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.
The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”