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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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  • Peter Michael Belle Cote Chardonnay 2000 Front Label
    Peter Michael Belle Cote Chardonnay 2000
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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    • Louis Latour Puligny-Montrachet Les Referts Premier Cru 2000
      Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Mount Eden Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay 2000 Front Label
      Mount Eden Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay 2000
      Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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      • WS90
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    • Frederic Magnien Morey St. Denis Les Larrets (375ML half-bottle) 2000 Front Label
      Frederic Magnien Morey St. Denis Les Larrets (375ML half-bottle) 2000
      Chardonnay from Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • Marcassin Alexander Estate Upper Barn Chardonnay (torn label) 2000 Front Label
        Marcassin Alexander Estate Upper Barn Chardonnay (torn label) 2000
        Chardonnay from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
        • RP90
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      • Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot Chassagne Montrachet 2000 Front Label
        Domaine Fernand & Laurent Pillot Chassagne Montrachet 2000
        Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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