The Sea Sun California Chardonnay 2021 is sourced from three AVAs, 52% Monterey, 3% San Benito County (inside the Central Coast AVA), and 45% Soldano County, (southeast of Napa inside the North Coast AVA). Sea Sun is one of the brands from the Wagner Family (Caymus) with a history in California dating back to the 1850s.
The winemaker is Charlie Wagner who created the Meiomi line of wines, he sold those wines off a few years ago for a third of a billion dollars. All Wagner Family wines are successful, but Charlie Wagner has had the magic touch. I found the Sea Sun California Chardonnay 2021 on sale for $13.99.
The 2020 vintage had Chardonnay grapes grown in Santa Barbara County AVA (100 miles north of Los Angeles) while the 2021 vintage switched those grapes out for San Benito grapes. San Benito is inland from Monterey and consists of valleys and mountain ranges. The mountains funnel cool Pacific Ocean air into the valleys.
The 3 different AVAs provide grapes with unique flavor profiles which will provide complexity to the blend. A portion of the Chardonnay was fermented in Stainless tanks while the rest was fermented and aged in a mix of used and new French oak barrels. A portion of this wine underwent malolactic fermentation.
The Sea Sun California Chardonnay 2021 will be a stew of oaked Chardonnay, Chardonnay from neutral barrels, and Chardonnay from Stainless steel tanks. The malolactic fermentation changes the natural tart acid in the grapes to rounded-tasting acid, so you will get malolactic and non-malolactic Chardonnay in your glass which increases the texture and complexity. The alcohol content is 14.3%.
The Sea Sun California Chardonnay 2021 Tasting Notes
The color is a pale sunshine yellow. The nose is melon, lemon, peach, buttered toast, a hint of butterscotch, apple, Anjou pear, and vanilla. The Sea Sun California Chardonnay 2021 is rounded and smooth on the palate, with plenty of flavors and slightly “hot” on the finish which should dissipate as the wine opens.
This Chardonnay tastes like a mix of pear, lemon, and green apple, followed by toasted vanilla. The mid-palate adds a slightly rough-edged spice, tart grapefruit, peach, and that salty/nutty “on-lees” sensation. The acidity is balanced and allows the flavors to unfold.
- The Sea Sun California Chardonnay 2021 is delicious, there is almost too much flavor.