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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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  • Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
    Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP97
    • WS93
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  • Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
    Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP97
    • WS93
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  • Aubert Reuling Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
    Aubert Reuling Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP99
    • WS97
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  • Hanzell Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
    Hanzell Chardonnay 2008
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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    • WS91
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  • Kongsgaard The Judge Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
    Kongsgaard The Judge Chardonnay 2008
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • RP97
    • WS92
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  • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
    Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP100
    • WS93
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  • Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
    Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WS96
    • RP95
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  • Peay Vineyards Sonoma Coast Estate Chardonnay 2008  Front Label
    Peay Vineyards Sonoma Coast Estate Chardonnay 2008
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • Domaine Michel Lafarge Beaune Les Aigrots Premier Cru Blanc 2008  Front Label
      Domaine Michel Lafarge Beaune Les Aigrots Premier Cru Blanc 2008
      Chardonnay from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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      • Ojai Solomon Hills Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
        Ojai Solomon Hills Chardonnay 2008
        Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
        • RP92
        • WE91
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      • Brewer-Clifton Sweeney Canyon Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
        Brewer-Clifton Sweeney Canyon Chardonnay 2008
        Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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        • Grgich Hills Estate Carneros Selection Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
          Grgich Hills Estate Carneros Selection Chardonnay 2008
          Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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          • Aubert Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
            Aubert Larry Hyde & Sons Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
            Chardonnay from Carneros, California
            • RP96
            • WS93
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          • Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
            Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
            Chardonnay from Carneros, California
            • RP96
            • WS93
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          • Martinelli Zio Tony Ranch Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
            Martinelli Zio Tony Ranch Chardonnay 2008
            Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
            • RP95
            • WS94
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          • Peter Michael Belle Cote Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
            Peter Michael Belle Cote Chardonnay 2008
            Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
            • RP95
            • WS94
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          • Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
            Peter Michael La Carriere Chardonnay 2008
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
            • RP96
            • WS93
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          • Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
            Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 2008
            Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
            • RP95
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          • Kongsgaard Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
            Kongsgaard Chardonnay 2008
            Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
            • RP94
            • WS92
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          • Kistler Vineyards Durell Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
            Kistler Vineyards Durell Chardonnay 2008
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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            • Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
              Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
              Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
              • RP93
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            • Louis Jadot Batard-Montrachet 2008 Front Label
              Louis Jadot Batard-Montrachet 2008
              Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
              • BH93
              • RP91
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            • Ojai Clos Pepe Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
              Ojai Clos Pepe Chardonnay 2008
              Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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              • Varner Bee Block Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
                Varner Bee Block Chardonnay 2008
                Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
                • RP97
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                99
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              • Marc Colin Batard Montrachet 2008 Front Label
                Marc Colin Batard Montrachet 2008
                Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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