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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
  • WW92
  • WW90
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4.2 94 Ratings
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4.2 94 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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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.

WBW30183364_2014 Item# 154235