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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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  • Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2001 Front Label
    Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2001
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
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  • Henschke Eden Valley Chardonnay 2001
    Chardonnay from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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    • Henschke Croft Chardonnay 2001
      Chardonnay from Australia
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      • Bonterra Mendocino County Chardonnay 2001 Front Label
        Bonterra Mendocino County Chardonnay 2001
        Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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        • Bonterra Organically Grown Chardonnay 2001
          Chardonnay from California
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          • d'Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay 2001 Front Label
            d'Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay 2001
            Chardonnay from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
            • RP87
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          • Talley Rincon Vineyard Chardonnay 2001 Front Label
            Talley Rincon Vineyard Chardonnay 2001
            Chardonnay from Arroyo Grande Valley, Central Coast, California
            • W&S93
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          • Yalumba Y Series Chardonnay 2001 Front Label
            Yalumba Y Series Chardonnay 2001
            Chardonnay from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
            • WS87
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          • Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2001 Front Label
            Vasse Felix Chardonnay 2001
            Chardonnay from Australia
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            • Yalumba Barossa Chardonnay 2001
              Chardonnay from Barossa Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
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