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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 Follin-Arbelet Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011  Front Label
    Domaine Follin-Arbelet Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • BH92
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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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  • 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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  • Kistler Vineyards Trenton Roadhouse Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Trenton Roadhouse Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2011
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • RP91
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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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    • Chanson Pere & Fils Vire Clesse 2011 Front Label
      Chanson Pere & Fils Vire Clesse 2011
      Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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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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        27 99
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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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        • Hill Smith Estate Eden Valley Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Hill Smith Estate Eden Valley Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia, Australia
          • WS90
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          19
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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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        • Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Aubert Lauren Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
          • WS92
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        • Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
          • RP95
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        • Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
          Aubert UV-SL Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
          • WS93
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          129 97
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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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          • Indaba Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
            Indaba Chardonnay 2011
            Chardonnay from South Africa
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            • Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
              Simonnet-Febvre Chablis Vaillons Premier Cru 2011
              Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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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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                27 99
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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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                • 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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                • Banrock Station Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                  Banrock Station Chardonnay 2011
                  Chardonnay from Australia
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                  • Chateau St. Jean Robert Young Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    Chateau St. Jean Robert Young Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
                    • TP90
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                  • Ramey Russian River Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                    Ramey Russian River Chardonnay 2011
                    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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                    • Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
                      Aubert Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
                      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
                      • WS93
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                      159 97
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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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