Mer Soleil 2006
With this vintage, the Mer Solei Chardonnay label now proudly displays the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. We are pleased to be able to specify the growing area of our fruit and all it represents in the bottle.

Our Chardonnay from the Mer Solei Vineyard, located in this cool, dry part of the Monterey County on land we began cultivating in 1988, in now at full maturity. The sea (“Mer”) and sun (“Solei”) climate of this coastal appellation causes morning and evening fogs and warm, bright afternoons, a combination that helps produce the high-qualifty fruit we use to make this California-style Chardonnay.

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. The climate of this coastal appellation causes morning and evening fogs and warm, bright afternoons, a combination that helps produce the high-quality fruit we use to make this bright, elegant Chardonnay.

Using multiple clones of Chardonnay, the vines are trained on three different trellis systems to enhance the potential for ripening, thinning and shading. Our familiarity with the property allows us to pick the vineyard blocks at peak conditions for extracting maximum quality.

Harvest began the 12th of October wirh clusters showing the dark gold, almost amber color we look for, and continued through the first week of November. Individual lots received extensive aging in French oak barrels before bottling.

Charlie Wagner II is a fourth-generation winemaker from a family with farming and winemaking roots in the Napa Valley since 1906. His first Mer Soleil bottling was produced from the 1997 vintage, and introduced the winemaking techniques he developed to create this unique, appealing Chardonnay style.

Tasting Notes - Mer Soleil 2006
Soft gold color. Richly perfumed nose, with light notes of honeysuckle, truffle and buttery oak. Full, layered flavors of tropical fruit are balanced by a bright acidity of sweet citrus, and linger through the long, creamy finish.
Charlie Wagner II
Release date:
August 2008

Reviews:
Wine Spectator, June 30, 2009. Rated: 90 points “Ripe and delicious in a rich, opulent style, with a mix of tropical fruit, pineapple, citrus and nectarine. Full-bodied and fresh, with lively, cleansing acidity.”

Wine Enthusiast, April 2009. Rated: 90 points “Year in and year out, Mer Solei's Chardonnay is one of the biggest, most distinctive ones in California. The '06 is almost like a late-harvest dessert wine, rich in apricot jam, pineapple custard, and new oak butterscotch flavors, but for all the opulence, it's entirely dry, and has zesty Monterey acidity. Almost a food group in itself, it will challenge chefs to rise to the occasion.”

California Grapevine, August-September 2008. Rated: Very Highly Recommended “Attractive, intense, buttery, baked apple pie and tropical fruit aroma with prominent notes of butterscotch and honeysuckle; fullbody…creamy mouthfeel; Firmly structured, lingering aftertaste.”

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