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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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  • Domaine Michel Lafarge Meursault Vendanges Selectionnees 2011  Front Label
    Domaine Michel Lafarge Meursault Vendanges Selectionnees 2011
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Origin Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Origin Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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      • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
        • RP97
        • WS93
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      • Kistler Vineyards Trenton Roadhouse Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011 Front Label
        Kistler Vineyards Trenton Roadhouse Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
        Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
        • RP91
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      • Kosta Browne One Sixteen Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Kosta Browne One Sixteen Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • WS90
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        Currently Unavailable $129.00
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      • Aubert Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Aubert Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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        • Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
          • RP95
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        • Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
          • WS92
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        • Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
          • WS93
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          Currently Unavailable $139.00
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          139
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        • Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
          • WS93
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          139
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        • DeLoach O.F.S. Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          DeLoach O.F.S. Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
          • RP90
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        • Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Pahlmeyer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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          • Kistler Vineyards Stone Flat Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
            Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
            • WS93
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          • Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Blanc 2011 Front Label
            Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Blanc 2011
            Chardonnay from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • W&S92
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            Currently Unavailable $94.99
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          • Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet Morgeot Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
            Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet Morgeot Premier Cru 2011
            Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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            • Williams Selyem Unoaked Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
              Williams Selyem Unoaked Chardonnay 2011
              Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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              • Domaine de la Vougeraie Cote de Beaune Les Pierres Blanches Blanc 2011 Front Label
                Domaine de la Vougeraie Cote de Beaune Les Pierres Blanches Blanc 2011
                Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                • W&S90
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                55
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              • Gagnard Delagrange Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 2011  Front Label
                Gagnard Delagrange Chassagne Montrachet Blanc 2011
                Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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                • Kistler Vineyards McCrea Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Kistler Vineyards McCrea Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
                  • RP93
                  • WS91
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                • Sandhi Rita's Crown Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Sandhi Rita's Crown Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
                  • RP94
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                • Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                  • RP93
                  3.8 8 Ratings
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                • Alpha Omega Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Alpha Omega Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                  • WE90
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                • Rhys Vineyards Alesia Alder Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Rhys Vineyards Alesia Alder Springs Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
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                  • Aubert Eastside Russian River Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    Aubert Eastside Russian River Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                    • WS95
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                    Currently Unavailable $139.00
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                    139
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                  • Olivier Leflaive Meursault Premier Cru Boucheres 2011 Front Label
                    Olivier Leflaive Meursault Premier Cru Boucheres 2011
                    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                    • BH92
                    • WS90
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