2014 Vintage received 90 Points from Wine Spectator
The story of a wine is the story of a place, and it's hard to imagine a better place to make Chardonnay than Monterey County. As John Steinbeck wrote, "I've lived in good climate, and it bores the hell out of me. I like weather rather than climate." There is no shortage of weather in Monterey County, which includes the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation. Tranquil early morning fog and sunny afternoons give way to afternoon winds, with gusts of up to 20 miles per hour. Out of that dramatic combination comes a slow ripening of grapes that allows us to produce intense fruit flavors balanced with vibrant acidity.
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.