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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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  • William Fevre Chablis Vaulorent Premier Cru 2015  Front Label
    William Fevre Chablis Vaulorent Premier Cru 2015
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • D93
    • RP92
    • WS91
    • BH91
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  • William Fevre Chablis Bougros Cote Bouguerots Grand Cru 2015 Front Label
    William Fevre Chablis Bougros Cote Bouguerots Grand Cru 2015
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • D97
    • RP93
    • WS93
    • BH93
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  • Bethel Heights Estate Grown Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
    Bethel Heights Estate Grown Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE93
    • JS91
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  • Dom. Pierre Labet Bourgogne Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes 2015 Front Label
    Dom. Pierre Labet Bourgogne Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes 2015
    Chardonnay from Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Vine Cliff Proprietress Reserve Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
      Vine Cliff Proprietress Reserve Chardonnay 2015
      Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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      • Jean-Marc Vincent Santenay Beaurepaire Premier Cru Blanc 2015 Front Label
        Jean-Marc Vincent Santenay Beaurepaire Premier Cru Blanc 2015
        Chardonnay from Santenay, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
        • D91
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      • Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
        Dutton-Goldfield Walker Hill Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
        Chardonnay from Green Valley, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • WE95
        4.8 13 Ratings
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      • Jean-Marc Vincent Montagny Premier Cru 2015  Front Label
        Jean-Marc Vincent Montagny Premier Cru 2015
        Chardonnay from Montagny, Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy, France
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        • David Arthur Chardonnay 2015  Front Label
          David Arthur Chardonnay 2015
          Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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          • Rhys Vineyards Bearwallow Vineyard Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
            Rhys Vineyards Bearwallow Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
            Chardonnay from Anderson Valley, Mendocino, California
            • RP94
            • JD94
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          • Scenic Root Winegrowers Forager Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
            Scenic Root Winegrowers Forager Chardonnay 2015
            Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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            • Etude Carneros Estate Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
              Etude Carneros Estate Chardonnay 2015
              Chardonnay from Carneros, California
              • WE90
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