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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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  • Domaine Follin-Arbelet Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011  Front Label
    Domaine Follin-Arbelet Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
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  • Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet Blanchot Dessus 2011  Front Label
    Bruno Colin Chassagne Montrachet Blanchot Dessus 2011
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH93
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  • Domaine Michel Lafarge Meursault Vendanges Selectionnees 2011  Front Label
    Domaine Michel Lafarge Meursault Vendanges Selectionnees 2011
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Marcassin Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • RP97
      • WS93
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    • Kosta Browne One Sixteen Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Kosta Browne One Sixteen Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • WS90
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    • Kistler Vineyards Trenton Roadhouse Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011 Front Label
      Kistler Vineyards Trenton Roadhouse Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
      Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
      • RP91
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    • Aubert Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Aubert Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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      • Kistler Vineyards Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
        Kistler Vineyards Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay 2011
        Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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        • Chanson Pere & Fils Vire Clesse 2011 Front Label
          Chanson Pere & Fils Vire Clesse 2011
          Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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          • Simonnet-Febvre Chablis 2011 Front Bottle Shot
            Simonnet-Febvre Chablis 2011
            Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
            • WS88
            • BH88
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          • Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey St-Aubin La Chateniere 2011 Front Label
            Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey St-Aubin La Chateniere 2011
            Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
            • WS92
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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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          • Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
            Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 2011
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
            • RP95
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          • Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
            Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
            Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
            • WS92
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          • Ramey Russian River Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
            Ramey Russian River Chardonnay 2011
            Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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            • Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
              Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
              Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
              • WS93
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            • Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
              Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
              Chardonnay from Carneros, California
              • RP95
              • WS92
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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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              • Domaine Laroche Chablis Saint Martin 2011 Front Label
                Domaine Laroche Chablis Saint Martin 2011
                Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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                • Iron Horse Unoaked Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Iron Horse Unoaked Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                  • WE90
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                • DeLoach O.F.S. Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  DeLoach O.F.S. Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                  • RP90
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                • Louis Latour Marsannay Blanc 2011 Front Label
                  Louis Latour Marsannay Blanc 2011
                  Chardonnay from Marsannay, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
                  • WS90
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                • Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                  • RP88
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                • Banrock Station Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Banrock Station Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Australia
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