It was only natural that Mer Soleil would make a Pinot Noir in addition to their Chardonnay. The Santa Lucia Highlands is well-known as the perfect home for both these varietals. Grapes ripen slowly, enabling us to make wine of heightened complexity, with layers of aromas and flavors. Mer Soleil is named after the two forces of nature – the sea and sun – that shape this singular character, and they are every bit as powerful in creating their Pinot as their Chardonnay.
With the alluring color of dark plums, this wine features scents of ripe cherries with cocoa, pomace, blueberry, toasted wood and a soft, powdery whiff of old-fashioned lipstick. The palate is all about texture – entry is soft, with a round, complete quality. Flavors of cherry cobbler mingle with cola notes and hints of anise. Tannins are structured yet extremely fine, providing a lush, lingering mouthfeel. On the finish, a wisp of acidity adds balance and freshness, a reminder of this wine’s origins in a cool, coastal region of California.
About Mer Solei
The Wagners come from a long line of grape growers and winemakers, with a history in Napa Valley dating back to the 1850s. Through the years, they have embraced a hands-on work ethic and are constantly looking for ways to keep improving the quality of their wines.
Whether it’s venturing to different regions to find diverse sources of top-quality grapes or experimenting with new farming techniques, the result is a pairing of tradition with innovation, a respect for the old with the promise of the new.
It’s been over 45 years since Chuck Wagner, along with his parents, Charlie and Lorna Wagner, founded Caymus Vineyards in Rutherford, Napa Valley. Chuck Wagner continues to make two world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignons under the Caymus label from Napa Valley.
Chuck’s older son, Charlie, produces coastal Mer Soleil Chardonnay and a recently released Pinot noir. In addition, he is Director of Winemaking for Conundrum, which now includes Conundrum White, Red, Sparkling and Rosé. Charlie’s latest endeavor is Red Schooner, a rich, dark Malbec made from grapes grown in the Andes Mountains, shipped chilled to Napa Valley and produced in the supple Caymus style.
Older daughter Jenny is winemaker for Emmolo Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot from Napa Valley. Both wines offer a fresh take on these varietals, with a style not typically expected from their production in California.
Never ones to rest on their laurels (or sit still for long), the Wagners feel extremely fortunate to be spending their days in pursuit of making extraordinary wine, year after year and generation after generation.