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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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    Cherry Pie Cherry Tart Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from California
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    Three Sticks Durell Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    Chateau St. Jean Belle Terre Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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    The Calling Jewell Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
    Chardonnay from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
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      Tyler Winery Bien Nacido W Block Chardonnay 2013
      Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
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      Elsa Bianchi Chardonnay 2013
      Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina
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        Gallo Signature Series Chardonnay 2013
        Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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          Scholium Project The Sylphs Chardonnay 2013
          Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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            Domaine Faiveley Meursault 2013
            Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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              Rhys Vineyards Alpine Vineyard Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2013
              Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
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              Fisher Vineyards Mountain Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
              Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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              Tyler Winery Santa Barbara County Chardonnay 2013
              Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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              Rivers-Marie B. Thieriot Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
              Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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                Stony Hill Chardonnay 2013
                Chardonnay from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
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                Stonestreet Upper Barn Vineyard Chardonnay 2013
                Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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