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94pt 2014 Mer Soleil "Silver" Unoaked Chardonnay

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This wine is sold by Jackson Wines & Spirits, a California licensed retailer
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Not content with absolutely dominating the Central Coast with their impressive Reserve Chardonnays, the Wagner family have targeted a sun-soaked Santa Lucia Highlands site to produce an unoaked beauty!  Their “Silver” bottling is a take on Chablis, known for its unoaked, mouth-watering Chards, paired with that signature CA sunshine.

About the wine

Few wines can activate all the pleasure centers like a California Chardonnay,  Creamy fruits, plenty of weight for a white wine, and of course, a long, long finish.  Mer Soleil so perfectly encapsulates California's unfair advantage:  they have the sea (Mer) and the sun (Soleil) in just the right proportions.  At their choice Santa Lucia Highlands site, the Wagners let sun-ripened Chardonnay push the limits of flavor, knowing that the tempering influence of the Pacific will keep everything in check.  You can't make a Chardonnay like this anywhere else. Aging in a combination of stainless steel and concrete creates a clean expression of Chardonnay that allows for enhanced flavor development without the oak.  If you love the taste of summer fruits, there's a basket full of peaches, pears, pineapples and melon. It's a decadent recipe, and one that the Wagners are masters at preparing.  Year-in-and-out, the Mer Soleil bottling is one of California's most delectable and their "Silver" is the go to for summer sipping!  

WinemakerCharlie Wagner II
Appellation: Monterey County
- 94 pts, Chris Stanley, Certified Sommelier
- 92 pts, Brian Whitaker, Sommelier, Blackhawk Grill
Grapes: Select Vineyards in Monterey County
Cooperage: Stainless steel and concrete
ABV: 14.8%

About the winery

The Wagners are up there along with the Mondavis as America's most celebrated winemaking families.  From Caymus Special Selection to Belle Glos and Mer Soleil, Wagners keep it all in the family.  Chuck Wagner first planted Chardonnay in the Monterey area in 1988, suspecting there was great promise for the grape there.  Over the years, he and his son Charlie fine-tuned the plantings and the rest is history.  20 years in, their Mer Soleil label is synonymous with a plush, uncompromising idea of Chardonnay heaven.  As they search out other areas with promise, they've found a Chardonnay site in Santa Barbara that was destined to take its place as the crown jewel in the Mer Soleil line.  All the painstaking attention in the vineyard and the cellar is carried through on the Santa Barbara Reserve, which pays respect to the style of Chardonnay that made the state famous:  low yields, barrel-fermentation and lees-stirring.  The result is a bodacious white with the all the flavor and substance of a great red, but still refreshing.  

About the winemaker, Charlie Wagner II

The Wagners are a California Winemaking Dynasty.From Charlie to Chuck to Charlie II, Joe and Jenny, the Wagners each run top-flight operations. As the eighth generation of Wagner to make wine, Charlie II knew early on that he was going to participate in the family business.  He started making wines with his father Chuck at Napa's Caymus winery, learning the family business from the ground up.  Realizing that Chuck's Mer Soleil project needed a true Chardonnay fanatic at the helm, Charlie stepped in and has taken the winery to greater heights with his focus.   In addition to expanding the Santa Lucia winery, Charlie has also added a famous unoaked Chardonnay called “Silver” that enjoys the same acclaim as the flagship wine.  This is the inaugural vintage of his push south into Santa Barbara to create an even more expressive bottle of Chardonnay.  In 20 years, Charlie Wagner II has become one of America's most trusted Chardonnay craftsman, earning 90+ points in every vintage.

About the vineyard

Situated in Santa Maria Valley, this site takes advantage of Santa Barbara's proximity to the Pacific.  Cool mornings and nights are punctuated by warm midday peaks which allows special plots like this to slowly put on weight like a happy baby.  Whenever the sun runs ripening too fast, the fog cools its jets and the balance is maintained.  It's no surprise then, that this part of the state is densely populated with top-shelf wineries in search of perfect fruit.  Sea Smoke, Foxen, Brewer-Clifton and other perennial top performers have gravitated to this zone's special combination of sandy soil and balanced climate.

94 pts - Chris Stanley, Certified Sommelier

"The 2014 Mer Soleil Silver is Charlie Wagner's upscale unoaked Chardonnay. This new world ripe chardonnay is refreshingly crisp yet has a full round mouthfeel thanks to use of concrete over stainless steel tanks- bravo! Full of candied tropical fruit; pineapple-banana complement the classic core flavors of green apple and pear."

92 pts - Brian Whitaker, Sommelier, Blackhawk Grill

"served at 45°F/7°C (chilled) .... shows crisp granny green apple, wet stone, and pear. or serve at 50°F/10°C (cool) ....shows asian pear, meyer-lemon, flower blossum, and honeysuckle. Recommended Pairing: Lemon baked Cod"

Winemaker Tasting Notes

"A pale yellow hue, the wine is well balanced with Fair in color and fresh from start to finish, the 2014 vintage opens up with aromas of flower blossoms, crisp pears and a hint of honeysuckle. Bright citrus evokes the clean taste of Meyer lemons, which grow amidst our estate vineyards, where a portion of this wine is sourced. On the palate, the wine is round and layered, with an acidity and depth that belie its unoaked character. The finish brings a lingering freshness that creates a perfect complement to salads, grilled seafood, tomato-based dishes and fresh oysters - and leaves a brightness in the mouth that leaves you wanting another sip."

Other Details

Alcohol percentage:
Caymus' Charlie Wagner's Unoaked Chardonnay - Crisp, Delicious!
Caymus' Charlie Wagner's Unoaked Chardonnay - Crisp, Delicious!
Chablis-like Cali Chard!
Signature Ceramic Btl
From the Caymus Fam
2017-4-20 23:59:00 -08:00:00
#review=Chris Stanley, Certified Somm:
94 / 100
#review=Brian Whitaker, Somm/GM:
92 / 100
Free shipping on 6 or more bottles - mix & match all wines!
93pr Caymus Mer Soleil 2013 Chard RSV: Last Hours

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