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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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    Pegasus Bay Chardonnay 2001
    Chardonnay from New Zealand
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      Cakebread Chardonnay 2001
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    • Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseigners 2001
      Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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      • Rombauer Chardonnay 2001
        Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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          Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Reserve Chardonnay 2001
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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        • HdV Chardonnay 2001
          Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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          Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet 2001
          Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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          • Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay 2001
            Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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              Far Niente Chardonnay 2001
              Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2001
                Chardonnay from Australia
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              • Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2001
                Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                Joseph Drouhin Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru Blanc 2001
                Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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                  Kongsgaard Chardonnay 2001
                  Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                • Cakebread Reserve Chardonnay 2001
                  Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                    Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2001
                    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                    Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2001
                    Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
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                  • Joseph Drouhin Montrachet Marquis de Laguiche 2001
                    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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                    Kistler Vineyards McCrea Chardonnay 2001
                    Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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                    Kistler Vineyards Vine Hill Chardonnay 2001
                    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                    Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay (slightly torn lables) 2001
                    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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                  • Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 2001
                    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                    Louis Jadot Meursault 2001
                    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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