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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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  • Simon Bize et Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Aux Vergelesses Premier Cru 2005  Front Label
    Simon Bize et Fils Savigny-les-Beaune Aux Vergelesses Premier Cru 2005
    Chardonnay from Savigny-les-Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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  • Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • RP96
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  • Martinelli Charles Ranch Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Martinelli Charles Ranch Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
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  • Ramey Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Ramey Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • CG95
    • RP94
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  • Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005 Front Label
    Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • RP95
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  • TOR Torchiana Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005 Front Label
    TOR Torchiana Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • RP94
    • WS92
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  • DuMOL Chloe Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    DuMOL Chloe Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS92
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  • DuMOL Isobel Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    DuMOL Isobel Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Green Valley, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS95
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  • Kistler Vineyards McCrea Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards McCrea Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS90
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  • Kistler Vineyards Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
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  • DuMOL Clare Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    DuMOL Clare Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP92
    • WS90
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  • Paul Hobbs Ulises Valdez Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Paul Hobbs Ulises Valdez Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS93
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  • Kistler Vineyards Durell Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Durell Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS92
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  • Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • RP96
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  • Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • RP95
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  • Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP98
    • WS92
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  • Martinelli Martinelli Road Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Martinelli Martinelli Road Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
    • WS92
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  • Peter Michael Belle Cote Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Peter Michael Belle Cote Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS90
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  • Peter Michael Point Rouge Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005 Front Label
    Peter Michael Point Rouge Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005
    Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP97
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  • Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS93
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  • Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2005 Front Label
    Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
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  • Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005 Front Label
    Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2005
    Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS90
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  • Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5L Magnum) 2005 Front Label
    Ramey Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5L Magnum) 2005
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • RP95
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  • Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard-Sea Ridge Meadow (1.5L Magnum) 2005 Front Label
    Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard-Sea Ridge Meadow (1.5L Magnum) 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • WS93
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  • Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP98
    • WS93
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