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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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  • Hill Smith Estate Eden Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Hill Smith Estate Eden Valley Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
    • WS90
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  • La Follette Sangiacomo Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    La Follette Sangiacomo Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    • Indaba Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Indaba Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from South Africa
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      • Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Marlborough, New Zealand
        • WS91
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      • Banrock Station Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Banrock Station Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Australia
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        • Apaltagua Reserva Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Apaltagua Reserva Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Chile
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          • Joel Gott Unoaked California Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
            Joel Gott Unoaked California Chardonnay 2011
            Chardonnay from California
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            • Martin Ray Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
              Martin Ray Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2011
              Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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              • Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2011
                Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                • WS89
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              • Cultivate Wonderlust Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                Cultivate Wonderlust Chardonnay 2011
                Chardonnay from Chile
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                • Jermann Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Jermann Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
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                  • Giant Steps Arthurs Creek Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    Giant Steps Arthurs Creek Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
                    • WS93
                    • RP92
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                  • Giant Steps Tarraford Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    Giant Steps Tarraford Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from Yarra Valley, Victoria, Australia
                    • WS91
                    • RP90
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                  • Kumeu River Village Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    Kumeu River Village Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from New Zealand
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                    • Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis AC (375ML half-bottle) 2011 Front Label
                      Domaine Louis Michel et Fils Chablis AC (375ML half-bottle) 2011
                      Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
                      • BH90
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                    • Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                      Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2011
                      Chardonnay from South Australia, Australia
                      • WS88
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                    • Aquinas Unoaked Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                      Aquinas Unoaked Chardonnay 2011
                      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                      • Layer Cake Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                        Layer Cake Chardonnay 2011
                        Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
                        • RP88
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                      • Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                        Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 2011
                        Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
                        • WS91
                        • WE91
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                      • Stickybeak Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                        Stickybeak Chardonnay 2011
                        Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                        • Yalumba Organic Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                          Yalumba Organic Chardonnay 2011
                          Chardonnay from South Australia, Australia
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                          • Veramonte Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                            Veramonte Chardonnay 2011
                            Chardonnay from Chile
                              3.4 5 Ratings
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                            • Esk Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                              Esk Valley Chardonnay 2011
                              Chardonnay from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
                              • WE91
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                            • Cono Sur Bicicleta Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                              Cono Sur Bicicleta Chardonnay 2011
                              Chardonnay from Chile
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                              • Isabel Mondavi Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                                Isabel Mondavi Chardonnay 2011
                                Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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