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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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  • 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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  • Joel Gott Unoaked California Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Joel Gott Unoaked California Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from California
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    • Indaba Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Indaba Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from South Africa
        4.0 6 Ratings
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      • Banrock Station Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Banrock Station Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Australia
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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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          • Bouchard Aine & Fils Macon-Villages 2011 Front Label
            Bouchard Aine & Fils Macon-Villages 2011
            Chardonnay from Macon Villages, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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            • Jermann Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
              Jermann Chardonnay 2011
              Chardonnay from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
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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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                • 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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                • 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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                • Cave de Lugny Macon Lugny Les Charmes Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Cave de Lugny Macon Lugny Les Charmes Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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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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                    19
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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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                    14 99
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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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                  • Greywacke Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    Greywacke Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from Marlborough, New Zealand
                    • JS96
                    • WS92
                    • RP91
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                  • Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from Marlborough, New Zealand
                    • WS91
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                  • Stickybeak Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    Stickybeak Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                      14 99
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                    • Yalumba Organic Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                      Yalumba Organic Chardonnay 2011
                      Chardonnay from South Australia, Australia
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                      • Esk Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                        Esk Valley Chardonnay 2011
                        Chardonnay from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
                        • WE91
                        • WW90
                        3.5 12 Ratings
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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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                          • Veramonte Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                            Veramonte Chardonnay 2011
                            Chardonnay from Chile
                              3.4 5 Ratings
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                            • Domaine de Bernier Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                              Domaine de Bernier Chardonnay 2011
                              Chardonnay from Loire, France
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                              • Wyndham Bin 222 Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                                Wyndham Bin 222 Chardonnay 2011
                                Chardonnay from South East Australia, Australia
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