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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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  • Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis AC (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis AC (375ML half-bottle) 2011
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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  • Starmont Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
    Starmont Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    • MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
      MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • Lafond SRH Series Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
      Lafond SRH Series Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
      Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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      • La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
        La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
        Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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        • Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
          Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
          Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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          • Carmel Road Monterey Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
            Carmel Road Monterey Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
            Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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            • Grossot Chablis (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
              Grossot Chablis (375ML half-bottle) 2011
              Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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              • Cakebread Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
                Cakebread Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
                Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                • Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
                  Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
                  Chardonnay from Carneros, California
                  • TP92
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                • Sandhi Rita's Crown Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
                  Sandhi Rita's Crown Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
                  Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
                  • RP94
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                • Landmark Overlook Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
                  Landmark Overlook Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
                  Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                  • TP90
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                • Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
                  Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
                  Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                  • Rombauer Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
                    Rombauer Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
                    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
                    • WS90
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                  • Clos Du Val Carneros Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
                    Clos Du Val Carneros Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2011
                    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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