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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
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  • Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet Blanchot Dessus 2011  Front Label
    Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet Blanchot Dessus 2011
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Simonnet-Febvre Chablis 2011 Front Bottle Shot
    Simonnet-Febvre Chablis 2011
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Jean-Marc Morey Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Les Caillerets 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Jean-Marc Morey Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Les Caillerets 2011
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis AC (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis AC (375ML half-bottle) 2011
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Latour Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Louis Latour Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Olivier Leflaive Meursault Premier Cru Charmes 2011 Front Label
    Olivier Leflaive Meursault Premier Cru Charmes 2011
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Olivier Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Olivier Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Jacques Prieur Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Jacques Prieur Puligny Montrachet Les Combettes Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS93
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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
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  • Chateau Fuisse Pouilly-Fuisse Vieilles Vignes 2011 Front Label
    Chateau Fuisse Pouilly-Fuisse Vieilles Vignes 2011
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Latour Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Louis Latour Batard Montrachet Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis Montee de Tonnerre Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis Montee de Tonnerre Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Clos St. Jean Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Clos St. Jean Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Caillerets 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Jean-Marc Pillot Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Caillerets 2011
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny Montrachet Clos de la Moucher Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Henri Boillot Puligny Montrachet Clos de la Moucher Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis 2011 Front Label
    Brocard Sainte Claire Chablis 2011
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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  • Olivier Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Olivier Leflaive Puligny Montrachet Les Folatieres Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis Grenouilles Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis Grenouilles Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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  • Olivier Leflaive Meursault Premier Cru Boucheres 2011 Front Label
    Olivier Leflaive Meursault Premier Cru Boucheres 2011
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine Faiveley Meursault Charmes Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Faiveley Meursault Charmes Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Chanson Pere & Fils Beaune Clos des Mouches Blanc Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE93
    • BH91
    • WS90
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