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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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  • Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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  • Neyers El Novillero Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Neyers El Novillero Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • RP94
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  • Stonestreet Gravel Bench Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Stonestreet Gravel Bench Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
    • WE93
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  • Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Butteaux Premier Cru 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Butteaux Premier Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
    • RP91
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  • Neely Spring Ridge Vineyard Holly's Cuvee Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Neely Spring Ridge Vineyard Holly's Cuvee Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • RP96
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  • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Summum Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Summum Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP95
    • WS95
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  • Stonestreet Upper Barn Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Stonestreet Upper Barn Vineyard Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WE91
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  • Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE95
    • RP94
    • W&S92
    • WS92
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  • Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • W&S98
    • BH96
    • WS94
    • RP94
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  • Jean-Noel Gagnard Batard-Montrachet 2009 Front Label
    Jean-Noel Gagnard Batard-Montrachet 2009
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP96
    • BH95
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  • Kistler Vineyards Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS93
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  • Peter Michael Point Rouge Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Peter Michael Point Rouge Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
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  • Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Blanchot Grand Cru 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Blanchot Grand Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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  • Vincent Girardin Le Montrachet Grand Cru 2009 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Le Montrachet Grand Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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  • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2009  Front Label
    Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS97
    • RP96
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