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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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    Louis Jadot Chablis Blanchot Grand Cru 2016
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    Stags' Leap Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    Woodward Canyon Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Wayfarer Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Stag's Leap Wine Cellars KARIA Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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    Secret Indulgence Oceana Chablis 2015
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Walter Hansel Cahill Lane Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Paul Hobbs Russian River Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Walter Hansel The Meadows Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Paul Pernot Puligny-Montrachet Chalumeaux Premer Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Tasmania, Australia
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    Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Camelot Highlands Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
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    Ramey Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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    Louis Latour Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2016
    Chardonnay from Aloxe-Corton, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Joseph Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Marquis de Laguiche Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    The Hilt The Old Guard Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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    Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
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    Bouchard Pere & Fils Meursault Les Clous 2017
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Catena Zapata Adrianna Vineyard White Bones Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina
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    Walter Hansel Cuvee Alyce Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Jean-Paul Droin Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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