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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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  • Hartford Court Seascape Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
    Hartford Court Seascape Vineyard Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
    Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
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  • Wind Gap Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
    Wind Gap Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • Small Vines Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
      Small Vines Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • WE93
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    • Hartford Court Three Jacks Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
      Hartford Court Three Jacks Chardonnay 2014
      Chardonnay from Green Valley, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • RP92
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    • Red Car Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
      Red Car Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • WW92
      • WE91
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    • Sanford La Rinconada Chardonnay 2014  Front Label
      Sanford La Rinconada Chardonnay 2014
      Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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      • Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
        Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2014
        Chardonnay from Tasmania, Australia
        • WE94
        • WS90
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      • Talbott Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
        Talbott Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay 2014
        Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
        • WE92
        • WS90
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      • Hestan Vineyards Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
        Hestan Vineyards Chardonnay 2014
        Chardonnay from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
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        • Fisher Vineyards Mountain Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
          Fisher Vineyards Mountain Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
          • RP91
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        • Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
          Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2014
          Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
          • W&S92
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        • Scholium Project The Sylphs Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
          Scholium Project The Sylphs Chardonnay 2013
          Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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          • Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2014  Front Label
            Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2014
            Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
            • JS94
            • WW92
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          • Domaine Vincent Dampt Chablis 2014 Front Label
            Domaine Vincent Dampt Chablis 2014
            Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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            • Brittan Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
              Brittan Chardonnay 2014
              Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
              • RP91
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            • Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2014  Front Label
              Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2014
              Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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              • Donelan Nancie Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
                Donelan Nancie Chardonnay 2015
                Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                • RP93
                • WE92
                • D91
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              • Stony Hill Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
                Stony Hill Chardonnay 2013
                Chardonnay from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
                • WE92
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              • Vincent Girardin Le Montrachet Grand Cru 2009 Front Label
                Vincent Girardin Le Montrachet Grand Cru 2009
                Chardonnay from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                • RP93
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              • Domaine Meo-Camuzet Hautes Cotes de Nuits Blanc Clos St. Philibert 2009  Front Label
                Domaine Meo-Camuzet Hautes Cotes de Nuits Blanc Clos St. Philibert 2009
                Chardonnay from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                • David Arthur Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
                  David Arthur Chardonnay 2014
                  Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                  • WS90
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                • Domaine Francois Lumpp Givry Crausot Premier Cru Blanc 2014 Front Label
                  Domaine Francois Lumpp Givry Crausot Premier Cru Blanc 2014
                  Chardonnay from Givry, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France
                  • BH92
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