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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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  • La Follette North Coast Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
    La Follette North Coast Chardonnay 2012
    Chardonnay from North Coast, California
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    • Eden Road The Long Road Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
      Eden Road The Long Road Chardonnay 2012
      Chardonnay from Australia
      • RP92
      • WS90
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    • J. Moreau & Fils Chablis 2012 Front Label
      J. Moreau & Fils Chablis 2012
      Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
      • WW91
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    • Bouchard Aine & Fils Macon-Villages 2012 Front Label
      Bouchard Aine & Fils Macon-Villages 2012
      Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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      • Charles & Charles Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
        Charles & Charles Chardonnay 2012
        Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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        • MacRostie Highmark Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
          MacRostie Highmark Chardonnay 2012
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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          • MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
            MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2012
            Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
            • W&S92
            • WE90
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          • Grosset Piccadilly Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
            Grosset Piccadilly Chardonnay 2012
            Chardonnay from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
            • WS91
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          • Veramonte Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
            Veramonte Chardonnay 2012
            Chardonnay from Chile
            • JS91
            3.3 6 Ratings
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          • Villa Maria Taylors Pass Vineyard Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
            Villa Maria Taylors Pass Vineyard Chardonnay 2012
            Chardonnay from New Zealand
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            • Joel Gott Unoaked California Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
              Joel Gott Unoaked California Chardonnay 2012
              Chardonnay from California
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              • Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2012
                Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                • WE90
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              • Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                Joseph Drouhin Laforet Chardonnay 2012
                Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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                • Elizabeth Spencer Mendocino Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                  Elizabeth Spencer Mendocino Chardonnay 2012
                  Chardonnay from California
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                  • Geyser Peak Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                    Geyser Peak Chardonnay 2012
                    Chardonnay from California
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                    • Joseph Drouhin St. Veran 2012 Front Label
                      Joseph Drouhin St. Veran 2012
                      Chardonnay from St-Veran, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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                      • Charles Smith Wines Eve Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                        Charles Smith Wines Eve Chardonnay 2012
                        Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
                        • RP88
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                      • Robert Oatley Signature Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                        Robert Oatley Signature Chardonnay 2012
                        Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
                        • WS90
                        3.5 5 Ratings
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                      • Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                        Yalumba Y Series Unwooded Chardonnay 2012
                        Chardonnay from South Australia, Australia
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                        • Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                          Voyager Estate Chardonnay 2012
                          Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
                          • WS90
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                        • Saintsbury Carneros Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                          Saintsbury Carneros Chardonnay 2012
                          Chardonnay from Carneros, California
                          • WE90
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                        • Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                          Leeuwin Estate Prelude Vineyards Chardonnay 2012
                          Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
                          • WS91
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                        • Garnet Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                          Garnet Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2012
                          Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                          • Starmont Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
                            Starmont Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2012
                            Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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                            • Kumeu River Village Chardonnay 2012 Front Label
                              Kumeu River Village Chardonnay 2012
                              Chardonnay from New Zealand
                              • RP90
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