2011 Mer et Soleil “Silver” Chardonnay

2011 Mer et Soleil “Silver” Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey County

Produced by the folks at Caymus Vineyards, the Mer et Soleil “Silver” is their version of a completely unoaked Chardonnay with no malo-lactic fermentation.  What this means is that there is no toastiness or butteriness with this wine.  This wine is aged in stainless steel and cement tanks, which imparts no flavors to the wine.

Mer et Soleil

But, what you do get is a very pure expression of Monterey Chardonnay, which is different than Napa or Sonoma.  Monterey Chardonnay offers up a wonderful rich forward fruit.  There is a depth to this wine, which is partially brought on because a tiny amount of oxygen is introduced to the wine as it is aging.  When wine is aged in oak barrels, the barrels breathe, and very small doses of oxygen become exposed to the wine.  So this is the winemaker’s method of creating richness without the cloak of oak, toast, and butter.

There is a minerality that blends in with the tropical fruit aromas and flavors.  This wine is all about freshness.  There is body here, no doubt.  The wine coats the palate and lingers.  The bright acidity helps balance the flavors and give a lovely backbone.  Think of pear, pineapple, kiwifruit, notes of tangerine, and cherrystones.  There’s a lot of complex flavors that marry very well here.

Food-wise, this wine will go beautifully with summer salads, grilled seafood, all kinds of birds, pork roast, and the like.  Give it a good chill and it’ll be great for Summer.

You will also notice something really different.  It comes packaged in a ceramic bottle…not glass.  A couple great benefits are that the wine is not exposed to light (one of wine’s greatest enemies), and the ceramic bottle will keep the wine chilled longer than a glass bottle.

Aside from the wine being really delicious, perhaps the greatest surprise here is the cost.

Originally, when the Mer et Soleil “Silver” Chardonnay was first introduced, it had a retail price of $39.99.  Good wine, not inexpensive though.

It has just gone on a major sale.

It is now $25.99 a bottle.

AND, by the case, it goes down to $19.99 a bottle.


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