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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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  • Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet 2019  Front Label
    Philippe Colin Chassagne-Montrachet 2019
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE94
    • WS93
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  • Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2018  Front Label
    Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2018
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • WS97
    • WE97
    • JS94
    • V91
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  • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP93
    • WS93
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  • Xavier Monnot Meursault Les Charmes Premier Cru 2019  Front Label
    Xavier Monnot Meursault Les Charmes Premier Cru 2019
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS94
    • WE94
    • JM92
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  • Woodward Canyon Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Woodward Canyon Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS92
    • WE91
    • JD91
    • WS91
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  • Sanford La Rinconada Chardonnay 2014  Front Label
    Sanford La Rinconada Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • WS91
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  • Penner-Ash Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Penner-Ash Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS92
    • RP90
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  • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Summum Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard Summum Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • V95
    • WS93
    • RP92
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  • Vina Cobos Bramare Los Arbolitos Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Vina Cobos Bramare Los Arbolitos Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina
    • JS95
    • V92
    • WS90
    4.5 5 Ratings
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  • Staglin Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Staglin Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Rutherford, Napa Valley, California
    • JD94
    • WS90
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  • Fort Ross Vineyard Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Fort Ross Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
    • RP92
    • WS92
    • JD91
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  • Louis Latour Montrachet Grand Cru 2018  Front Label
    Louis Latour Montrachet Grand Cru 2018
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • JS98
    • BH94
    • WS94
    5.0 17 Ratings
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  • Optik Block 11D3 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard 2019  Front Label
    Optik Block 11D3 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard 2019
    Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • JD93
    • WS92
    • V92
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  • Domaine de Bellene Beaune Les Perrieres Premier Cru Blanc  2018  Front Label
    Domaine de Bellene Beaune Les Perrieres Premier Cru Blanc 2018
    Chardonnay from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S93
    • WS92
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  • Masut Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
    Masut Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Eagle Peak, Mendocino, California
    • WS91
    3.7 5 Ratings
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