2006 Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay
2006 Mer Soleil Chardonnay Silver A thrilling new release experience from these masters of California Chardonnay. This is a pristine wine exuding surprisingly luscious fruit flavors and a smooth creamy texture despite zero oak barrel influence. The lack of oak allows the delicious ripe fruit to shine forth bursting with apricot, apples, bananas, tropical pineapple and butterscotch with a delightfully clean finish reminiscent of lemon pie This is a California Wine.
Appellation AmericaI applaud the trend toward unoaked Chardonnay, but it sometimes seems to be mostly a marketing gimmick. Chardonnay can be on the bland side, and when there’s no oak present, inferior fruit has nothing to hide behind. That’s not a problem for the Silver Unoaked Chardonnay from Mer Soleil. Winemaker and viticulture director Charlie Wagner II uses Chardonnay grapes grown in special blocks of the Mer Soleil Vineyard, which is at the cooler northern end of the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA. The grapes are harvested when they’re just ripe, and the wine is fermented in stainless steel and cement vats. There’s no oak contact, and the wine doesn’t go through malolactic fermentation. The result is a fresh, vivid Chardonnay with ample pear, lemon, green apple and pineapple flavors. There’s plenty of juicy acidity, a hint of minerality and a long finish. Wagner says he’s trying to combine the crisp mineral essence of Chablis with the tropical elements of California coastal Chardonnay. I’d say he’s succeeded with this wine, which sells for $42. This is the second vintage of Silver - here’s hoping there are many more.
Wine BuyerLight gold color with a pale green tint. Clean, lively aromas of honeydew melon and green apple carry over to delicate tropical fruit flavors of pineapple and papaya, balanced with crisp mineral notes. The full texture lasts through a luxuriously long finish.