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Mer Soleil Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
  • WW94
14.9% ABV
  • WW90
  • V90
  • WW92
  • WW90
  • JS92
  • WW92
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4.2 97 Ratings
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4.2 97 Ratings
14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Golden and sun-kissed, the 2014 vintage opens up with the fresh, tropical scents of pineapple and citrus blossom, balanced by the smooth character of vanilla. White peach comes through on the palate, which has a vibrant acidity balanced by the natural character of fully ripe fruit. Medium to full-bodied, this wine has a finish that is lengthy but never heavy, its mix of oak, butter and fruit characteristics blending seamlessly and leaving a harmonious, lingering impression.

Style of Chardonnay:
This wine represents the creamy style of Chardonnay in our Wine Discovery Set.
Find more creamy Chardonnay.

Critical Acclaim

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WW 94
Wilfred Wong of Wine.com
I have always been a fan of the Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnays; the 2014 Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve has made me even more of a believer. This is the winery's best wine to date. The wine's aroma is intoxicating and outrageous—not just buttery and yummy. This is indeed a serious effort that has combined all of the elements—ripe fruit, endearing creaminess, firm structure and pure fruit in the aftertaste. Drinks well now. (Tasted: July 14, 2016, San Francisco, CA)
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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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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. We also offer a Reserve Chardonnay from Santa Barbara county, where slightly warmer temperatures than in the Santa Lucia Highlands create subtle differences in the wine. Mer Soleil is led by owner and winemaker Charlie Wagner, who is passionate about how all these wines celebrate the California coast.

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 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.

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 is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

WBW30183364_2014 Item# 154235