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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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  • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay (half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
    Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay (half-bottle) 2010
    Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
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  • Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
    Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
      La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • Migration Russian River Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
      Migration Russian River Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010
      Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    • Landmark Overlook Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
      Landmark Overlook Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010
      Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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      • Qupe Reserve Block 11 Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
        Qupe Reserve Block 11 Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010
        Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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      • Starmont Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
        Starmont Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010
        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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      • Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay (half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
        Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay (half-bottle) 2010
        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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        • Cuvaison Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
          Cuvaison Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010
          Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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        • Hess Select Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
          Hess Select Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010
          Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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          • Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
            Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010
            Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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            • Rombauer Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
              Rombauer Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010
              Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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            • Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010 Front Label
              Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2010
              Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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