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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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  • Thomas Fogarty Langley Hill Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
    Thomas Fogarty Langley Hill Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • V95
    • W&S93
    • RP91
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  • Mount Eden Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
    Mount Eden Vineyards Reserve Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • JD95
    • V94
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  • Nugan Estate Frasca's Lane Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
    Nugan Estate Frasca's Lane Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Victoria, Australia
    • V90
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  • Ramey Platt Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
    Ramey Platt Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
    • V93
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  • Red Car Estate Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
    Red Car Estate Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • V93
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  • Failla Chuy Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
    Failla Chuy Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • V95
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  • Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
    Martinelli Three Sisters Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • V95
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  • Dom. Jouard Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Les Fairendes Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2013  Front Bottle Shot
    Dom. Jouard Chassagne-Montrachet Morgeot Les Fairendes Premier Cru Vieilles Vignes 2013
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • V93
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  • Mayacamas The Terraces Chardonnay 2013  Front Label
    Mayacamas The Terraces Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley, California
    • V96
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  • The Hilt Vanguard Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
    The Hilt Vanguard Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
    • V94
    • RP93
    • W&S92
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  • Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013  Front Label
    Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013
    Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • RP96
    • V93
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  • Red Car Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2013 Front Label
    Red Car Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • V92
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  • Domaine Robert-Denogent Pouilly-Fuisse Cuvee Claude Denogent Les Cras Vieilles Vignes 2013 Front Label
    Domaine Robert-Denogent Pouilly-Fuisse Cuvee Claude Denogent Les Cras Vieilles Vignes 2013
    Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
    • V92
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