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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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  • William Fevre Chablis Bougros Cote Bouguerots Grand Cru 2009 Front Label
    William Fevre Chablis Bougros Cote Bouguerots Grand Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • BH95
    • RP92
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  • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2009  Front Label
    Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • RP96
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  • Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • RP95
    • WS93
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  • William Fevre Chablis Bougros Cote Bouguerots Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009 Front Label
    William Fevre Chablis Bougros Cote Bouguerots Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • BH95
    • RP92
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    195
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  • Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • WS94
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  • Peter Michael Point Rouge Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Peter Michael Point Rouge Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
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  • Louis Jadot Chevalier Montrachet Les Demoiselles Grand Cru 2009 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Chevalier Montrachet Les Demoiselles Grand Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • RP95
    • BH93
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    400
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  • Kistler Vineyards Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS93
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  • Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres Premier Cru 2009 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet Les Folatieres Premier Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • RP92
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  • Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • RP93
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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 Francois Raveneau Chablis Blanchot Grand Cru 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Blanchot Grand Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • RP93
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  • Vincent Girardin Meursault Premier Cru Les Genevrieres 2009 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Meursault Premier Cru Les Genevrieres 2009
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH93
    • RP92
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  • Vincent Girardin Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2009 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH94
    • RP93
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  • Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • WS94
    • RP93
    • WE93
    • W&S90
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