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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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  • Domaine Follin-Arbelet Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011  Front Label
    Domaine Follin-Arbelet Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
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  • Domaine Michel Lafarge Meursault Vendanges Selectionnees 2011  Front Label
    Domaine Michel Lafarge Meursault Vendanges Selectionnees 2011
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Bernardus Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Bernardus Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • WE92
      • RP92
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    • Aubert Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Aubert Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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      • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
        • RP97
        • WS93
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      • Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
        • WS93
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        139
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      • Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
        • WS93
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      • Louis Latour Marsannay Blanc 2011 Front Label
        Louis Latour Marsannay Blanc 2011
        Chardonnay from Marsannay, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • WS90
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      • Aubert CIX Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Aubert CIX Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
        • JS95
        • WS92
        • RP91
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        139
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      • Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • RP92
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      • Alpha Omega Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Alpha Omega Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
        • WE90
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      • Buty Conner Lee Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Buty Conner Lee Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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        • Aubert Eastside Russian River Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Aubert Eastside Russian River Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • WS95
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        • Moone-Tsai Sonoma Coast Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Moone-Tsai Sonoma Coast Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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          • Rochioli River Block Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
            Rochioli River Block Chardonnay 2011
            Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
            • RP92
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          • Chasseur Durell Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
            Chasseur Durell Chardonnay 2011
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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            • Bouchard Aine & Fils Savigny Les Beaune Blanc 2011 Front Label
              Bouchard Aine & Fils Savigny Les Beaune Blanc 2011
              Chardonnay from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              • Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Charmes 2011 Front Label
                Domaine des Comtes Lafon Meursault Charmes 2011
                Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                • RP93
                • BH93
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              • Bouchard Pere & Fils Pouilly-Fuisse 2011 Front Label
                Bouchard Pere & Fils Pouilly-Fuisse 2011
                Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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                • Bethel Heights Estate Grown Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Bethel Heights Estate Grown Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                  • WindRacer Anderson Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    WindRacer Anderson Valley Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from North Coast, California
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                    • Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                      Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
                      Chardonnay from Carneros, California
                      • RP93
                      • WS91
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                    • Bruno Clair Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011  Front Label
                      Bruno Clair Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011
                      Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                      • Johan Vineyards Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                        Johan Vineyards Chardonnay 2011
                        Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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                        • Le P'tit Paysan Jack's Hill Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                          Le P'tit Paysan Jack's Hill Chardonnay 2011
                          Chardonnay from Monterey, Central Coast, California
                          • WE92
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