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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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    Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Les Setilles 2017
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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    William Fevre Chablis Domaine 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Louis Latour Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2015
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Chanin Los Alamos Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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    Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • D90
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    Burrier Chateau de Beauregard Pouilly-Fuisse (375ML half-bottle) 2016
    Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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    Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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    • D92
    4.6 6 Ratings
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    Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016
    Chardonnay from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Olivier Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet 2016
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Marquis de Laguiche Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • D94
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    Burrier Chateau de Beauregard Pouilly-Fuisse 2016
    Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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    Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard White Bones Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina
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    • JS94
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    Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Tasmania, Australia
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    • JS97
    • RP93
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    Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Louis Jadot Chablis Montee de Tonnerre Premier Cru 2016
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    • CG91
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    Sandhi Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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    • V92
    2.9 6 Ratings
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    Domaine du Colombier Petit Chablis 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
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    4.5 11 Ratings
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    Albert Bichot Secret de Famille Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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    Benjamin Leroux Auxey-Duresses 2017
    Chardonnay from Auxey-Duresses, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Jean-Marc Vincent Santenay Beaurepaire Premier Cru Blanc 2015
    Chardonnay from Santenay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Penfolds Bin 311 Tumbarumba Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from New South Wales, Australia
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    Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ml half bottle) 2016
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP91
    • D90
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