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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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  • Mount Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Mount Eden Vineyards Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • WS94
    • RP93
    • W&S90
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  • Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay 2009 Front Bottle Shot
    Rodney Strong Reserve Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WS92
    • W&S91
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  • Domaine Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2009
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • W&S88
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  • Chateau Fuisse Pouilly-Fuisse Tete de Cru 2009 Front Label
    Chateau Fuisse Pouilly-Fuisse Tete de Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • WE91
    • BH90
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot Monopole Premier Cru 2009 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot Monopole Premier Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S93
    • RP93
    • BH91
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  • Villa Maria Taylors Pass Vineyard Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Villa Maria Taylors Pass Vineyard Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from New Zealand
    • WE92
    • W&S90
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  • Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Evening Land Seven Springs Vineyard La Source Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Eola-Amity Hills, Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS97
    • W&S96
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  • Three Saints Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Three Saints Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • W&S92
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  • Qupe Reserve Block 11 Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2009 Front Label
    Qupe Reserve Block 11 Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2009
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • W&S93
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  • Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Francis Ford Coppola Director's Cut Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
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  • Christian Moreau Chablis 2009 Front Label
    Christian Moreau Chablis 2009
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • BH89
    • W&S89
    • WS88
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  • Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Rutherford Ranch Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S90
    3.8 8 Ratings
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S91
    • CG90
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  • Tabali Chardonnay Reserva Especial 2009 Front Label
    Tabali Chardonnay Reserva Especial 2009
    Chardonnay from Limari Valley, Chile
    • W&S90
    3.7 6 Ratings
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  • Domaine Drouhin Oregon Chardonnay Arthur 2009 Front Label
    Domaine Drouhin Oregon Chardonnay Arthur 2009
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S91
    • RP90
    4.7 5 Ratings
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  • Henschke Croft Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Henschke Croft Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Australia
    • W&S90
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  • Iron Horse Unoaked Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Iron Horse Unoaked Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
    • WE90
    4.2 7 Ratings
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  • Adelsheim Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Adelsheim Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S91
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  • Bethel Heights Estate Grown Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Bethel Heights Estate Grown Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • W&S94
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  • Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • W&S94
    • WS92
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  • Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S94
    4.8 5 Ratings
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  • Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet 2009 Front Label
    Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet 2009
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
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  • Firestone Santa Ynez Valley Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Firestone Santa Ynez Valley Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • W&S90
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  • Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay 2009 Front Label
    Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay 2009
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WE95
    • RP94
    • W&S92
    • WS92
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Chardonnay (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S91
    • CG90
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