Mer Soleil - a part of the Wagner Family of Wines portfolio - is well-known for making robust California Chardonnay. Mer Soleil owner and winemaker Charlie Wagner says, “Chardonnay offers a great opportunity to experiment with different regions and create wines that reflect a unique sense of place. Mer Soleil literally means ‘the sun and sea,’ and these two elements put their mark on a vineyard. With this new Santa Barbara Chardonnay, it’s exciting to see exactly how.”
A wine expert friend of mine refers to Mer Soleil 2013 Reserve Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County ($27.99) as a "big tits" wine. It's more robust and weightier in texture than its more petite sister: Mer Soleil 2013 Reserve Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands ($27.99), and it is interesting to sample both wines side-by-side.
Mer Soleil 2013 Reserve Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County is made from grapes grown in Santa Barbara County, which is slightly warmer than the Santa Lucia Highlands, resulting in a wine that is rich, full-bodied and brimming with gorgeous apricot and peach notes. There are vanilla undertones from aging in French oak, along with a creamy, lush texture. I would pair this Chardonnay with a juicy roasted chicken.