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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 Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2018 Front Label
    Domaine Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2018
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • W&S90
    4.0 224 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $24.99
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  • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars KARIA Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Stag's Leap Wine Cellars KARIA Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • WE91
    • W&S91
    • D90
    4.1 11 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $35.99
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  • Baileyana Firepeak Chardonnay 2017  Front Label
    Baileyana Firepeak Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
    • TP92
    • W&S91
    • WE91
    3.7 21 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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  • Samuel Billaud Chablis 2018  Front Label
    Samuel Billaud Chablis 2018
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • RP90
    • W&S90
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  • Hirsch Estate Chardonnay 2018  Front Label
    Hirsch Estate Chardonnay 2018
    Chardonnay from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S96
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $68.99
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  • Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
    Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE95
    • V95
    • W&S94
    • JS94
    • RP92
    • WS91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $104.99
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  • Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2014 Front Label
    Thomas Fogarty Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2014
    Chardonnay from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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  • Antinori Castello della Sala Cervaro 2018  Front Label
    Antinori Castello della Sala Cervaro 2018
    Chardonnay from Umbria, Italy
    • RP96
    • W&S95
    4.7 32 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $64.99
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    64 99
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  • Jean-Louis Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 2016  Front Label
    Jean-Louis Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 2016
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $104.99
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  • Merry Edwards Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
    Merry Edwards Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • RP93
    • W&S93
    • JD91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $99.00
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