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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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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Jean-Claude Boisset Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Jean-Claude Boisset Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Domaine Follin-Arbelet Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011  Front Label
      Domaine Follin-Arbelet Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011
      Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
      • BH92
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    • Stony Hill Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Stony Hill Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
      • WW94
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    • Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011 Front Label
      Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
      • RP93
      • V92
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    • Bernardus Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Bernardus Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • WE92
      • RP92
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    • Bernardus Sierra Mar Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Bernardus Sierra Mar Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • WE92
      • RP92
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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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    • HdV Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      HdV Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Carneros, California
      • JS93
      • WE90
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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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      • 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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      • Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Morgeot 2011 Front Label
        Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Morgeot 2011
        Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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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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        • Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
          • WS93
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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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        • Aubert CIX Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Aubert CIX Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
          • JS95
          • WS92
          • RP91
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        • Brewer-Clifton Gnesa Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Brewer-Clifton Gnesa Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
          • RP91
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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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        • Alpha Omega Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Alpha Omega Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
          • WE90
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        • Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune Clos St Landry Premier Cru Monopole 2011 Front Label
          Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune Clos St Landry Premier Cru Monopole 2011
          Chardonnay from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
          • WW93
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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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        • Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Butteaux Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
          Domaine Francois Raveneau Chablis Butteaux Premier Cru 2011
          Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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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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          • Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Vergers 2011 Front Label
            Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet Premier Cru Vergers 2011
            Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
            • WS92
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          • Grossot Mont de Milieu Chablis 2011 Front Label
            Grossot Mont de Milieu Chablis 2011
            Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
            • WS92
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