Mer Soleil Silver and Another Remembrance

It was only eight months ago I raised my glass of Alsatian Pinot Gris to the heavens to toast my dear Aunt Eleanora upon her passing  (See “The Furst Pinot Gris and Remembering a Life of Grace”, June 14, 2015.)

And now, I raise another glass, this time to her husband, my dear Uncle Harold.  In my family now, we have nothing but memories of that generation.

Uncle Harold had a quick smile, a permanent twinkle in his eye, and a joke always followed by his hoarse, halting laugh.  A gentleman always, he loved and cared for my aunt unabashedly.

My Uncle made his career working in the cement manufacturing industry with the Louisville Cement Company.  Which immediately directed me to the only wine bottle on my shelf that looked like a cement bottle.  Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay.

Chardonnay grapes for this wine come from the Santa Lucia Highlands where cool temperatures drive bright fruit and crisp acidity.  These characteristics are captured by fermenting and aging without oak.  Rather, the wine sees a combination of stainless steel and small concrete tanks.  The tanks are unlined, allowing a bit of oxygen exchange just as in an oak barrel, to encourage flavor development.  Utilizing this method retains the vibrancy of the fruit while adding hints of minerality. 

Mer Soleil Vineyards chooses this unique bottle to point out the unique production method.

Brilliant clarity catches the light and literally shines!

A basket full of tropical and citrus fruits greets the nose! A hint of that minerality is found as well.

The palate is rich with a purity of fresh fruits–peaches and limes along with papayas.  Lemon and grapefruit notes mingle on the finish with mineral hints.

The pure fruit sings!  The acidity zings!  And everything is wrapped in a rich tapestry.

It seemed so right to toast my dear Uncle Harold with a glass of wine that is created in cement tanks.  I am just sure my mother and father, aunt and uncle are all sitting together somewhere beautiful, drinking some heavenly elixir, all talking and laughing about what a clever girl I think I am!

And then Uncle Harold breaks into his familiar chuckle, eyes merrily twinkling.

Remembering an extraordinary life;
Sipping with brunch on a Sunday morning;

A Chardonnay drinker who prefers to taste fresh fruit instead of oak.

About the author: Sue Navratil

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