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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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  • Fess Parker Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Fess Parker Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • V90
    3.6 8 Ratings
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  • Nugan Estate Drover's Hut Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
    Nugan Estate Drover's Hut Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Riverina, New South Wales, Australia
    • V91
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  • Ocean Eight Verve Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
    Ocean Eight Verve Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
    • V91
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  • Dalrymple Cave Block Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
    Dalrymple Cave Block Chardonnay 2012
    Chardonnay from Tasmania, Australia
    • V90
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  • Craggy Range Winery Kidnappers Vineyard Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Craggy Range Winery Kidnappers Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
    • JS93
    • V90
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  • Laetitia Estate Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
    Laetitia Estate Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Arroyo Grande Valley, Central Coast, California
    • V92
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  • Nugan Estate Frasca's Lane Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
    Nugan Estate Frasca's Lane Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Victoria, Australia
    • V90
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  • Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Vaillons Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2016 Front Label
    Domaine Laroche Chablis Les Vaillons Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2016
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • TA95
    • V92
    • RP90
    • WS90
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  • Nugan Estate Drover's Hut Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
    Nugan Estate Drover's Hut Chardonnay 2012
    Chardonnay from Riverina, New South Wales, Australia
    • V90
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