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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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  • Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
    Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Domaine Francois Lumpp Givry Crausot Premier Cru Blanc 2014 Front Label
    Domaine Francois Lumpp Givry Crausot Premier Cru Blanc 2014
    Chardonnay from Givry, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France
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  • Red Car Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
    Red Car Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • WE91
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  • Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
    Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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  • Sanford La Rinconada Chardonnay 2014  Front Label
    Sanford La Rinconada Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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  • Small Vines Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
    Small Vines Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
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  • Talbott Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
    Talbott Sleepy Hollow Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • WE92
    • WS90
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  • Hestan Vineyards Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
    Hestan Vineyards Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from San Francisco Bay, Central Coast, California
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    • Hartford Court Seascape Vineyard Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
      Hartford Court Seascape Vineyard Chardonnay 2014
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • RP93
      • V93
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    • Brittan Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
      Brittan Chardonnay 2014
      Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    • Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2014  Front Label
      Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2014
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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      • Hartford Court Three Jacks Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
        Hartford Court Three Jacks Chardonnay 2014
        Chardonnay from Green Valley, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • RP92
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      • David Arthur Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
        David Arthur Chardonnay 2014
        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
        • WS90
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