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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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  • Marcassin Zio Tony Ranch Chardonnay 2004  Front Label
    Marcassin Zio Tony Ranch Chardonnay 2004
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS96
    • RP93
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  • Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
    Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay 2004
    Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP95
    • WS91
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  • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2004  Front Bottle Shot
    Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2004
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP97
    • WS94
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  • Kistler Vineyards Vine Hill Chardonnay (torn labels) 2004 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Vine Hill Chardonnay (torn labels) 2004
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • WS92
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  • Louis Latour Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2004 Front Label
    Louis Latour Bienvenues-Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2004
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE94
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  • Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2004 Front Label
    Bonneau du Martray Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2004
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • WS93
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  • Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay (torn labels) 2004 Front Label
    Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay (torn labels) 2004
    Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • RP95
    • WS94
    • WE93
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  • Kistler Vineyards Les Noisetiers Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Les Noisetiers Chardonnay 2004
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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    • Ramey Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
      Ramey Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay 2004
      Chardonnay from Carneros, California
      • WE94
      • RP94
      • WS91
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    • Kistler Vineyards McCrea Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
      Kistler Vineyards McCrea Chardonnay 2004
      Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
      • RP94
      • WS93
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    • Bouchard Pere & Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2004 Front Label
      Bouchard Pere & Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2004
      Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
      • WS92
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    • Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay (1.5L Magnum) 2004 Front Label
      Mount Eden Vineyards Estate Chardonnay (1.5L Magnum) 2004
      Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
      • RP95
      • WS94
      • WE93
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    • Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2004 Front Label
      Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2004
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • RP95
      • WS94
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    • Dom. Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Hameau de Blagny (375ML half-bottle) 2004 Front Label
      Dom. Etienne Sauzet Puligny-Montrachet Hameau de Blagny (375ML half-bottle) 2004
      Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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