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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 Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 2011  Front Label
    Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles 2011
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    • Stony Hill Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Stony Hill Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
      • WW94
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    • Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011 Front Label
      Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
      • RP93
      • V92
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    • Bernardus Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Bernardus Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
      • WE92
      • RP92
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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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      299 97
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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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    • Schug Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
      Schug Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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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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        47 99
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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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        • Waterbrook Collector's Series Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Waterbrook Collector's Series Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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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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          • Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
            Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2011
            Chardonnay from Marlborough, New Zealand
            • WS91
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            36 99
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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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            • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
              Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2011
              Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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              • La Follette Sangiacomo Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                La Follette Sangiacomo Chardonnay 2011
                Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                • Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                  • W&S91
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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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                • Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Chile
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                  • Mark West Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    Mark West Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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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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                    • Irony Monterey County Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                      Irony Monterey County Chardonnay 2011
                      Chardonnay from Monterey, Central Coast, California
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                      • Raymond R Collection Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                        Raymond R Collection Chardonnay 2011
                        Chardonnay from California
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                        • Au Bon Climat Nuits Blanches Au Bouge Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                          Au Bon Climat Nuits Blanches Au Bouge Chardonnay 2011
                          Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
                          • WE93
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                        • Jacob's Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                          Jacob's Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2011
                          Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
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                          • Joel Gott Unoaked California Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                            Joel Gott Unoaked California Chardonnay 2011
                            Chardonnay from California
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