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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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    Stags' Leap Winery Napa Valley Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    Vincent Girardin Meursault Les Narvaux 2016
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Chateau Fuisse Pouilly-Fuisse Tete de Cru 2016
    Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
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    MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Camelot Highlands Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
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    Chateau Ste. Michelle Mimi Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
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    Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    A to Z Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Oregon
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    Catena Zapata Adrianna White Bones Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina
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    Alain Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 2016
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S93
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    Dom. Etienne Sauzet Bourgogne Blanc 2017
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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    Lapostolle Casa Grand Selection Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Casablanca Valley, Chile
    • JS91
    • W&S90
    4.5 5 Ratings
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    Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    4.2 15 Ratings
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    Domaine Vincent Dampt Chablis Cote de Lechet Premier Cru 2017
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Baileyana Firepeak Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
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    Liquid Farm La Hermana Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
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    Duckhorn Napa Valley Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2016
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    • WW91
    4.3 12 Ratings
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    Billaud-Simon Chablis 2016
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    Matthiasson Linda Vista Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley, California
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    Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from New Zealand
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    Adelsheim Staking Claim Chardonnay 2015
    Chardonnay from Chehalem Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon
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    The Withers Peters Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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    Foppiano Estate Chardonnay 2017
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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    Mossback Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S90
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