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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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    Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres Premier Cru 2013
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Christian Moreau Chablis Vaudesir Grand Cru 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Montee de Tonnerre Premier Cru 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru (375ML half-bottle) 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru (375ML half-bottle) 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Vaudesir Domaine Grand Cru 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Louis Jadot Corton-Charlemagne 2013
    Chardonnay from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Bougros Cote Bouguerots Grand Cru 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Les Preuses Grand Cru 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Louis Jadot Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2013
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Bougros Cote Bouguerots Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Valmur Domaine Grand Cru 2013
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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