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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 Laroche Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2017 Front Label
    Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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  • Jean-Marc Boillot Puligny Montrachet Referts Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
    Jean-Marc Boillot Puligny Montrachet Referts Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
    Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE95
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    • BH93
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  • Domaine Marc Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
    Domaine Marc Morey Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vergers Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • JS93
    • W&S92
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2017 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • JS97
    • WW96
    • WS94
    • RP94
    • W&S93
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  • Domaine Matrot Meursault Charmes Premier Cru 2017 Front Label
    Domaine Matrot Meursault Charmes Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • JD95
    • WS94
    • BH91
    • W&S90
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  • Lucien Le Moine Meursault Gouttes d'Or Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
    Lucien Le Moine Meursault Gouttes d'Or Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S93
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  • Bouchard Aine & Fils Meursault Les Porusot Premier Cru 2017  Front Label
    Bouchard Aine & Fils Meursault Les Porusot Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S94
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  • Alain Chavy Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres Premier Cru 2017 Front Label
    Alain Chavy Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V94
    • W&S94
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  • Gaja Gaia and Rey Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Gaja Gaia and Rey Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Piedmont, Italy
    • RP93
    • W&S90
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  • Domaine Matrot Puligny-Montrachet Les Chalumeaux Premier Cru 2017 Front Label
    Domaine Matrot Puligny-Montrachet Les Chalumeaux Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS94
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    • BH91
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  • William Fevre Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2017  Front Label
    William Fevre Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • JS98
    • D96
    • RP95
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    • WW93
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  • Williams Selyem Lewis MacGregor Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Williams Selyem Lewis MacGregor Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
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  • Williams Selyem Heintz Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Heintz Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE94
    • W&S93
    • CG91
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  • Williams Selyem Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2017 Front Label
    Williams Selyem Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE94
    • RP94
    • W&S90
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