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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 Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Kistler Vineyards McCrea Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    Rombauer Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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      Olivier Leflaive Puligny Montrachet 2006
      Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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        Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay 2006
        Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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        Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2006
        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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        Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2006
        Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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        Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2006
        Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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        Williams Selyem Allen Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
        Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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        Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2006
        Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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        Williams Selyem Drake Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
        Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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        Sea Smoke Cellars Gratis Chardonnay 2006
        Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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          William Fevre Chablis Preuses Grand Cru 2006
          Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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          DuMOL Chloe Chardonnay 2006
          Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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          Mount Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2006
          Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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          Patz & Hall Zio Tony Ranch Chardonnay 2006
          Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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            Paul Hobbs Richard Dinner Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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            Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
            Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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            Flowers Andreen-Gale Chardonnay 2006
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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            Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
            Chardonnay from New Zealand
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            Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2006
            Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
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            Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
            Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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            Joseph Drouhin Meursault Perrieres Premier Cru 2006
            Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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            Joseph Drouhin Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2006
            Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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            Kistler Vineyards Vine Hill Chardonnay 2006
            Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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