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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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  • Sebastiani Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Sebastiani Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • CG88
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  • Flowers Andreen-Gale Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Flowers Andreen-Gale Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • CG92
    • W&S91
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    52 99
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • CG90
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  • Ramey Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Ramey Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • CG96
    • RP91
    • WS90
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  • Clos LaChance Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Clos LaChance Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • WS87
    • CG86
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    14 28
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  • Ramey Russian River Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Ramey Russian River Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • CG90
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    52 97
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  • Landmark Overlook Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Landmark Overlook Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • RP90
    • CG90
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  • Buena Vista Carneros Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Buena Vista Carneros Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • CG89
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    14 09
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  • Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WS94
    • CG93
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  • Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • WS94
    • RP93
    • CG92
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    61 99
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  • Testarossa Castello Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Testarossa Castello Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • CG91
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  • Lewis Cellars Barcaglia Lane Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Lewis Cellars Barcaglia Lane Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • CG93
    • WS90
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  • Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • WS95
    • CG94
    • RP91
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    70
    55 99
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  • Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5L Magnum) 2006 Front Label
    Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5L Magnum) 2006
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • WS95
    • CG94
    • RP91
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    149
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  • HdV Chardonnay 2006 Front Label
    HdV Chardonnay 2006
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • WS93
    • CG93
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    62 99
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