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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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    Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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    • Denis Marchais Chardonnay 2002
      Chardonnay from France
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      • Chateau Ste. Michelle Reserve Chardonnay 2002
        Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
        • WE93
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      • Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2002
        Chardonnay from Chile
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      • Buehler Russian River Chardonnay 2002
        Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
        • WS88
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      • Clos du Bois Calcaire Vineyard Chardonnay 2002
        Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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          22
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        • Trinchero Vista Montone Napa Valley Estate Chardonnay 2002
          Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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            Barton & Guestier Chardonnay 2002
            Chardonnay from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
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            • J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Riverstone Chardonnay (half-bottle) 2002
              Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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              • Concha y Toro Frontera Chadonnay 2002
                Chardonnay from Chile
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                  Artesa Carneros Chardonnay 2002
                  Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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                    Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay 2002
                    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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                      Sebastiani Sonoma Chardonnay 2002
                      Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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                        Brancott Gisborne Chardonnay 2002
                        Chardonnay from Gisborne, New Zealand
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                          Laboure Roi Puligny Montrachet 2002
                          Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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                            Delicato Chardonnay 2002
                            Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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                            • Starmont Chardonnay 2002
                              Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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                              • Dry Creek Vineyard Chardonnay (half-bottle) 2002
                                Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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                                  Duboeuf Chardonnay 2002
                                  Chardonnay from Beaujolais, Burgundy, France
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                                  • Riverside Vineyard Chardonnay 2002
                                    Chardonnay from California
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                                      Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2002
                                      Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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                                    • Annie's Lane Chardonnay 2002
                                      Chardonnay from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
                                      • WS89
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                                      L'Orval Chardonnay Chasan 2002
                                      Chardonnay from France
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                                        Santa Rita 120 Chardonnay 2002
                                        Chardonnay from Chile
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                                        Carmenet Cellar Selection Chardonnay 2002
                                        Chardonnay from California
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