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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 Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
    Marcassin Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP97
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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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  • 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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  • Kongsgaard The Judge Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
    Kongsgaard The Judge Chardonnay 2008
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    • WS92
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  • Hanzell Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
    Hanzell Chardonnay 2008
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • WE92
    • WS91
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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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    • 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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    • 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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    • Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
      Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2008
      Chardonnay from Carneros, California
      • RP96
      • WS93
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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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      • 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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        • Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
          Peter Michael Ma Belle Fille Chardonnay 2008
          Chardonnay from Knights Valley, Sonoma County, California
          • RP97
          • WS97
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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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        • 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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        • 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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        • Ojai Clos Pepe Chardonnay 2008 Front Label
          Ojai Clos Pepe Chardonnay 2008
          Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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          • Marc Colin Batard Montrachet 2008 Front Label
            Marc Colin Batard Montrachet 2008
            Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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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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