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Three White Wines from the Wagner Family, including 2009 Silver Unoaked Chardonnay

I recently received a six pack of Wagner Family wines. It was a sampler of their mainstream wines in 50ml bottles from I believe the bottles do provide a very accurate representation of what you’d experience from a regular bottle. I’m offering reviews of the white wines today and will follow up with the reds tomorrow.

2010-mer-soleil-silver2009 Mer Soleil “Silver” Unoaked Chardonnay

If you’re tired of oaky Chardonnay, but don’t want to give up the rich body and bold ripe fruit of California’s most popular white, Mer Soleil Silver may be for you. It is medium lemon-green in the glass with a nose that offers loads of fruit — green apple, ripe peach, pear and pineapple — accented by honeysuckle and mineral. The wine is nearly full-bodied on the palate with attention-grabbing flavors of sweet pear, grapefruit and mineral. The wine starts smooth and almost creamy in the mouth but the acidity builds steadily to provide a clean, juicy finish. Serve Mer Soleil Silver chilled with seared scallops, fried chicken or a caprese salad. Highly Recommended.

Drink: Now through 2013
Release Date: July, 2011
Closure: Cork
Retail Price: $22.00
Winemaker: Charlie Wagner II
Blend: Chardonnay
Origin: Santa Lucia Highlands
Fermentation: Concrete tanks
Aging: Concrete tanks
Alcohol: 14.8%

[Photo at right shows the 2010 vintage, but the wine tasted was in fact 2009.]


2008 Mer Soleil Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands

That the traditional Mer Soleil Chardonnay does not eschew oak is obvious even from its color, a deep, bright gold. This is a very aromatic wine. Vanilla and oak rise from the glass, followed by yellow apple, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, candied ginger and honeysuckle. The full-bodied palate is replete with more yellow apple, pineapple, tropical fruit, cinnamon and hints of mandarin orange. This is a powerfully happy wine but has enough acidity to avoid being cloying or gooey. Drink it on the cool side with grilled salmon or chicken under a fruit salsa. Highly Recommended.

Drink: Now through 2015
Release Date: August, 2010
Closure: Cork
Retail Price: $32.00
Winemaker: Charlie Wagner II
Blend: Chardonnay
Origin: Santa Lucia Highlands
Fermentation: Barrel Fermented, Partial malolactic
Aging: French oak
Alcohol: 14.5%


2009 Conundrum White Wine Blend

The 2009 Conundrum is beautifully floral. Jasmine and peach blossom are front and center with orange marmalade, yellow apple, pineapple and tropical fruit adding depth and complexity. The palate is viscous and approaching off-dry. Flavors are the inverse of the nose with fruit taking the lead: pineapple, tropical fruit, yellow apple and citrus. Honeysuckle and marmalade add interest. This is a wine that will go well with acidic or spicy foods. It’s perfect for Thai curries or coconut soup with pineapple and chicken. Highly Recommended.

Drink: Now through 2014
Release Date: September, 2011
Closure: Screwcap
Retail Price: $22.00
Winemaker: John Bolta
Blend: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Semillon, Muscat
Origin: California: Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties
Fermentation: Stainless steel
Aging: Stainless steel and French oak, new and used
Alcohol: 13.5%

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This article is original to Copyright 2012 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.