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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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  • Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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  • Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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  • Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • WS91
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  • Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from New Zealand
    • RP93
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  • Peter Michael Belle Cote Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005
    Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    • WS90
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  • Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay (3 Liter Bottle) 2005 Front Label
    Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay (3 Liter Bottle) 2005
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • RP93
    • WS92
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  • Peter Michael Point Rouge Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005 Front Label
    Peter Michael Point Rouge Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005
    Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP97
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  • Ramey Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Ramey Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • CG95
    • RP94
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  • Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • WS95
    • RP94
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  • Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005 Front Label
    Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005
    Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS90
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  • Peter Michael Cuvee Indigene Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Peter Michael Cuvee Indigene Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
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  • Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS93
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  • Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
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  • Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Australia
    • WS94
    • RP91
    • W&S90
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  • Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP98
    • WS93
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  • Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5L Magnum) 2005 Front Label
    Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5L Magnum) 2005
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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  • Ramey Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5L Magnum) 2005 Front Label
    Ramey Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5L Magnum) 2005
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • CG95
    • RP94
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  • Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard-Sea Ridge Meadow (1.5L Magnum) 2005 Front Label
    Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard-Sea Ridge Meadow (1.5L Magnum) 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • WS93
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  • Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard-Sea Ridge Meadow 2005 Front Label
    Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard-Sea Ridge Meadow 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • WS93
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  • Kongsgaard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Kongsgaard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
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  • Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP98
    • WS92
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  • Aubert Quarry Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Aubert Quarry Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • RP97
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  • Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP100
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  • Kistler Vineyards Vine Hill Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Vine Hill Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS93
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