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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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    Stags' Leap Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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    Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuisse 2017
    Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
    • TP91
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    4.4 31 Ratings
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    Matchbook The Arsonist Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Dunnigan Hills, Yolo County, California
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    Landmark Overlook Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from California
    • TP92
    • WW91
    3.9 16 Ratings
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    Folie a Deux Russian River Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • TP92
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    Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
    • TP90
    4.3 9 Ratings
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    Z. Alexander Brown Uncaged Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • TP93
    4.6 7 Ratings
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    Louis Jadot Meursault 2016
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • TP93
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    McManis Family Vineyards River Junction Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from California
    • TP92
    3.7 17 Ratings
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    Provenance Vineyards Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • TP93
    • RP90
    3.9 8 Ratings
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    Bonterra The Roost Biodynamic Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
    • TP94
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    DAOU Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Willow Creek District, Paso Robles, Central Coast, California
    • TP93
    • WE92
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    Wente Morning Fog Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Livermore Valley, Central Coast, California
    • JS91
    • TP91
    3.8 24 Ratings
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    True Myth Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
    • TP91
    • WE90
    3.9 15 Ratings
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    Chappellet Grower Collection Calesa Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • TP94
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    • V92
    • JD92
    • WS91
    • JS90
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    Morgan Metallico Unoaked Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • TP92
    • WE91
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    Mercer Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • TP91
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    Scott Family Estate Arroyo Seco Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
    • TP90
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    Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • TP92
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    Montes Alpha Series Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Casablanca Valley, Chile
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    • TP92
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    Balletto Winery Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • TP90
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    Ridge Estate Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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    • TP91
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    Alcance Gran Reserva Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Chile
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    Murphy-Goode California Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from California
    • TP90
    3.4 10 Ratings
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