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Mer Soleil Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Chardonnay 2012

Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    0% ABV
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    3.6 7 Ratings
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    3.6 7 Ratings
    0% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    Golden-hued in color, the wine opens with opulent aromas of peach, apple, Meyer lemon and baking spices. The palate is an inviting medley of peach and D'Anjou pear; layered with tropical notes of pineapple and banana. The vibrant acidity is well balanced by warm butterscotch and subtle coconut notes that seamlessly meld together to create a luscious, mouth-filling richness. It is medium to full-bodied with a refreshing burst of minerality and well-integrated oak characteristics that offer a round, lengthy finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Mer Soleil

    Mer Soleil

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    Mer Soleil, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, 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

    Santa Lucia Highlands

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    Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and bracing afternoon breezes. This allows grapes to ripen slowly and fully, resulting in concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on “green” 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.

    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.

    SWS358198_2012 Item# 129423