This unoaked wine captures the pure, clean expression of Chardonnay from our Mer Soleil Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey County. The mineral essence is reminiscent of the classic Chablis style with the tropical elements found in the Chardonnays of the Pacific Coastline. Grapes are fermented in cement tanks, without oak contact.
The Mer Soleil Vineyard is named for the 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, our Mer Soleil 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 produces the high-quality fruit we use to make this bright, elegant Chardonnay.
We have a profound appreciation at Mer Soleil winery for fine dessert wines, so when we find Botrytis cinerea appearing in our Viognier vineyard blocks we protect and nurture the deep golden berries.
Botrytis, a naturally-occurring organism that allows the grapes to develop a concentrated, nectar-like sweetness, occurs only in certain harvests under moisture-filled weather conditions. And in 2004, conditions were perfect.