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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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    Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from California
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    Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    Olivier Leflaive Bourgogne Blanc Les Setilles 2017
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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    • D90
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    Brocard Vau de Vey Premier Cru Chablis 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Henri Costal Chablis Les Truffieres 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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      Domaine Zafeirakis Chardonnay 2017
      Chardonnay from Greece
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        St. Supery Estate Oak Free Chardonnay 2018
        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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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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          MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2017
          Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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          Novellum Chardonnay 2017
          Chardonnay from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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          3.9 32 Ratings
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          ZD Wines Chardonnay 2017
          Chardonnay from California
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          Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2017
          Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
          • TP90
          4.3 9 Ratings
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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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          Joseph Drouhin Pouilly-Fuisse 2017
          Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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            Shannon Ridge High Elevation Chardonnay 2017
            Chardonnay from Lake County, North Coast, California
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            3.8 6 Ratings
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            Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2017
            Chardonnay from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
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            Moniker La Ribera Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
            Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
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            Jean-Paul Droin Chablis 2017
            Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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            Joseph Drouhin Macon Villages 2018
            Chardonnay from Macon Villages, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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              Joseph Drouhin Meursault 2017
              Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet 2017
              Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              Christian Moreau Chablis Vaillon Premier Cru 2017
              Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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              Bonterra Organically Grown Chardonnay 2018
              Chardonnay from California
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                McManis Family Vineyards River Junction Chardonnay 2017
                Chardonnay from California
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                3.7 17 Ratings
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                Domaine Vincent Dampt Chablis Cote de Lechet Premier Cru 2017
                Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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                • WS90
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