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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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    Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Tasmania, Australia
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    MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Kumeu River Hunting Hill Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from New Zealand
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    Errazuriz Max Reserva Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Aconcagua Valley, Chile
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    Provenance Vineyards Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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    Vina Cobos Felino Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina
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    Tokara Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from South Africa
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    Domaine Drouhin Vaudon Chablis Reserve de Vaudon 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from New Zealand
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    Shaw & Smith M3 Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
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    Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis (375ML half-bottle) 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Henschke Croft Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
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    Pulenta Estate Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina
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    Crossbarn by Paul Hobbs Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • JS91
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    Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Mac Forbes Yarra Valley Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
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    Kumeu River Estate Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from New Zealand
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    Nielson Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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    Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ml half bottle) 2016
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Villa Maria Taylors Pass Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from New Zealand
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    Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
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    Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Vaillons Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Vaillons Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2015
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    MacRostie Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
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