100% Chardonnay
    Santa Lucia Highlands
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The Wagner family legacy of winemaking has been carried on for three generations. The family’s deep roots of farming grapes and producing wine began in 1915 in the Napa Valley. Charlie F. Wagner and Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, along with their son, Chuck, established Caymus Vineyards in 1972. Chuck saw great potential for producing quality wines outside of the Napa Valley as well, and by 1988, Chuck began planting land in the Santa Lucia Highlands. This appellation, located in Monterey County, is along the cooler coastline, yielding early ripening for Chardonnay. Mer Soleil Chardonnay became the product of this quality chosen site, and has been run by Chuck’s eldest son, Charlie F. Wagner II, since 2001.

For the Wagners, it’s all about the farming. One important aspect of farming that the Wagners value is crop rotation. In Monterey County, Charlie farms 100 acres of lemons, some of which are the Meyer variety. The juicy, brilliant yellow fruit are sold through a local produce broker. The citrus aroma is often evident in the Mer Soleil and Silver Chardonnays, as the grapes and lemons are produced from the same soils and weather patterns. This is the result of the lemon orchards that surround the vineyards.

90pts Vinous: Limpid gold. Melon, poached pear and honey on the deeply perfumed nose. Plush and expansive in the mouth, offering pliant orchard fruit and melon flavors and suggestions of vanilla and clove. Picks up floral and fennel notes with air and finishes smooth, broad and long, with a smoky note coming in late.


A sunny yellow hue, the 2016 vintage opens with the vibrant scents of lemon blossom and honeysuckle, infused by the warmth of vanilla. The whiff of a sea breeze can be detected on the nose, adding a bright freshness. Rich and lush, the palate features flavors of ripe peach and lemon meringue pie. Lively acidity balances this wine’s creamy roundness. Notes of toasted bread combine with a final kick of acidity to create an evocative, harmonious and refreshing finish.