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Chardonnay

Learn about Chardonnay — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

Tasting Notes for Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a dry, white wine. When Chardonnay grapes are planted on cool sites, the resulting wine's flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Food Pairings for Chardonnay

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secrets for Chardonnay

Since the 1980s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy this lighter style.

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  • Ramey Radiance Dutton Ranch Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Barrel Auction) 2015 Front Label
    Ramey Radiance Dutton Ranch Vineyard Chardonnay (Sonoma Barrel Auction) 2015
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • Scholium Project The Sylphs Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
      Scholium Project The Sylphs Chardonnay 2013
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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      • Roco Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
        Roco Willamette Valley Chardonnay 2015
        Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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        • Sixto Roza Hills Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
          Sixto Roza Hills Chardonnay 2015
          Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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          • RP93
          • WS92
          • WE91
          3.5 19 Ratings
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        • Lucien Le Moine Chassagne-Montrachet Grande Montagne Premier Cru 2016  Front Label
          Lucien Le Moine Chassagne-Montrachet Grande Montagne Premier Cru 2016
          Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • V94
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        • Elyse Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
          Elyse Chardonnay 2015
          Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
          • WW90
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        • Wind Gap Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
          Wind Gap Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012
          Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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          • Domaine Matrot Meursault Les Chevalieres 2017  Front Label
            Domaine Matrot Meursault Les Chevalieres 2017
            Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • WS93
            • JD92
            • W&S90
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          • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
            Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
            Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
            • WS93
            • RP90
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          • Stony Hill Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
            Stony Hill Chardonnay 2013
            Chardonnay from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
            • WE92
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          • Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
            Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
            Chardonnay from New Zealand
            • JS96
            • RP93
            • WE91
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          • Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis La Foret Premier Cru 2015 Front Label
            Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis La Foret Premier Cru 2015
            Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
            • RP92
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          • Failla Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
            Failla Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
            Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
            • JD92
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          • Aubert Eastside Russian River Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
            Aubert Eastside Russian River Chardonnay 2018
            Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
            • RP99
            • V98
            • WS94
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          • Hubert Lamy St-Aubin La Princee 2017  Front Label
            Hubert Lamy St-Aubin La Princee 2017
            Chardonnay from St-Aubin, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • RP91
            • V91
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          • Brick & Mortar Cougar Rock Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
            Brick & Mortar Cougar Rock Chardonnay 2015
            Chardonnay from Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, California
            • JS93
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          • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
            Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2012
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
            • RP100
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          • Hubert Lamy Santenay Clos des Gravieres Premier Cru Blanc 2017  Front Label
            Hubert Lamy Santenay Clos des Gravieres Premier Cru Blanc 2017
            Chardonnay from Santenay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • RP93
            • BH91
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          • Paul Lato  Le Souvenir Sierra Madre Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
            Paul Lato Le Souvenir Sierra Madre Chardonnay 2016
            Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
            • RP95
            • JD94
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          • Kerr Cellars Curvature Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
            Kerr Cellars Curvature Chardonnay 2016
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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            • Sixto Uncovered Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
              Sixto Uncovered Chardonnay 2016
              Chardonnay from Washington
              • JD92
              • JS91
              • RP90
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            • Domaine Robert-Denogent St-Veran Les Pommards 2016 Front Label
              Domaine Robert-Denogent St-Veran Les Pommards 2016
              Chardonnay from St-Veran, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
              • RP93
              • BH90
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            • Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
              Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
              Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
              • RP100
              • V98
              • WS95
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            • Domaine Michel Niellon Chassagne-Montrachet 2018  Front Label
              Domaine Michel Niellon Chassagne-Montrachet 2018
              Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Wayfarer Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
                Wayfarer Chardonnay 2017
                Chardonnay from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                • JD97
                • WE95
                • RP95
                • WS91
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