Mer Soleil Oaked and Unoaked Chardonnays

Karen Frazier
Chardonnay Wine

Mer Soleil, a Santa Lucia Highlands winery, produces three wines, two of which are Chardonnays. The winery sits off of Monterey Bay, receiving cooling fogs that allow the grapes to ripen to a perfect level. The stellar results show how climate affects the grapes in Mer Soleil's two Chardonnays, one oaked and one unoaked, as well as in its Pinot Noir.

Mer Soleil Reserve Chardonnay

This is Mer Soleil's oaked Chardonnay, a dry, acidic, buttery, and creamy Chardonnay aged in French oak for 12 to 15 months. Expect a full-bodied white wine with flavors and aromas of tropical fruits, vanilla, and coconut with a lingering finish. The Chardonnay, which has alcohol by volume (ABV) of about 14%, costs around $30 per bottle. According to wine-searcher, it receives an aggregate critics' score of 89 points across vintages and critics, and reviewers at Total Wine & More give it 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Mer Soleil Chardonnay Food Pairing

This buttery Chardonnay is excellent with a number of foods including:

  • Crab or lobster with butter
  • Swordfish
  • Pasta with fatty cream sauces
  • Roasted poultry or fish

Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay

When unoaked, Chardonnay is an entirely different wine from a traditional oaked Chardonnay. Brighter flavors come to the fore, and the wines are more expressive of the terroir. This is certainly the case with Mer Soleil's Silver, an unoaked Chardonnay that Wine Spectator calls "seductive," awarding it a 90-point rating. The Mer Soleil Silver Chardonnay costs around $20 per bottle, and the winery's tasting notes cite the wine's clean, fresh flavors including citrus and kiwi with a crisp minerality and a creamy texture. Find it in online wine shops such as Total Wine & More, where consumers rate it 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Mer Soleil Silver Food Pairing

Unoaked Chardonnay pairs well with light fare such as:

  • White fish
  • Light pastas with white wine based sauces
  • Shrimp or prawns
  • Risotto with spring vegetables

Mer Soleil Pinot Noir

Mer Soleil also makes one other wine - a Pinot Noir made from grapes grown in the Santa Lucia Highlands. It's a $40 Pinot Noir with flavors of cherries and berries as well as earthy flavors and a nice, long finish.

Pinot Noir Food Pairing

Mer Soleil Pinot Noir pairs well with most traditional foods that go well with Pinot Noir such as:

  • Salmon
  • Prawns
  • Lamb

Where to Buy Mer Soleil Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Mer Soleil is a popular and well-known brand, and you can find it in many wine shops and grocery stores. Likewise, you can use the winery's wine finder to locate nearby locations that sell the wines. You can also purchase the wine in their online shop.

About Mer Soleil

Mer Soliel (which is French for sea sun) is owned by Wagner Family of Wine, which also owns Caymus Vineyards, Conundrum, and a few other wine brands. Mer Soliel first planted vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands in 1988, and the winery was started by Caymus Vineyards founder Chuck Wagner. Now, Chuck's son Charlie is the winemaker for Mer Soleil. Charlie has been in the family business since he was 16 years old. The winery also grows lemons on their land, and the synergy between the lemons and grapes often shows up with lemon blossom aromas in the Chardonnays.

Delicious and Affordable Wines

Mer Soliel produces affordable, delicious Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. With both oaked and unoaked Chardonnay along with a tasty Pinot Noir, you're sure to find a Mer Soleil wine to suit your preferences.

Mer Soleil Oaked and Unoaked Chardonnays