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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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  • Beaulieu Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Beaulieu Vineyard Carneros Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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  • Toasted Head Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from California
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  • Iron Horse Corral Vineyard Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Iron Horse Corral Vineyard Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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  • Melville Estate Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Melville Estate Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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  • Santa Rita Reserva Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Santa Rita Reserva Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Chile
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  • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
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  • Mad Fish Western Australia Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Mad Fish Western Australia Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Western Australia, Australia
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  • Lincourt Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Lincourt Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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  • Wolf Blass SA Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Australia
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    • WS87
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  • Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet 2002 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Puligny-Montrachet 2002
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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  • Christian Moreau Chablis Vaillon Premier Cru 2002
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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  • Brookland Valley Verse 1 Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Brookland Valley Verse 1 Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Australia
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  • Cakebread Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Cakebread Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S92
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  • Nickel & Nickel Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Nickel & Nickel Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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  • Frei Brothers Reserve Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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  • Cousino Macul Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Cousino Macul Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Chile
    • RP88
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  • MacRostie Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    MacRostie Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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  • Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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  • Simi Reserve Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Simi Reserve Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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  • Neyers Carneros Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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  • Joseph Drouhin Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2002 Front Label
    Joseph Drouhin Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2002
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • W&S95
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  • Clos LaChance Santa Cruz Chardonnay 2002 Front Label
    Clos LaChance Santa Cruz Chardonnay 2002
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • W&S88
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