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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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  • Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Blanc 2011 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Clos du Prieure Blanc 2011
    Chardonnay from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Cote de Beaune Les Pierres Blanches Blanc 2011 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Cote de Beaune Les Pierres Blanches Blanc 2011
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Artesa Carneros Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Artesa Carneros Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune Clos St Landry Premier Cru Monopole 2011 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Beaune Clos St Landry Premier Cru Monopole 2011
    Chardonnay from Beaune, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
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  • Bouchard Pere & Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Bouchard Pere & Fils Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WE95
    • BH93
    • W&S92
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  • Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • WE91
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  • Christian Moreau Chablis Valmur Grand Cru 2011 Front Label
    Christian Moreau Chablis Valmur Grand Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    • WS91
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  • Clos du Bois Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Clos du Bois Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from North Coast, California
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  • Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • WS96
    • RP94
    • W&S92
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  • Lincourt Steel Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Lincourt Steel Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • W&S92
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  • Sonoma-Cutrer The Cutrer Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Sonoma-Cutrer The Cutrer Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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  • Etude Carneros Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Etude Carneros Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • W&S91
    • RP90
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  • Dominique Cornin Pouilly-Fuisse Clos Reyssie 2011 Front Label
    Dominique Cornin Pouilly-Fuisse Clos Reyssie 2011
    Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
    • RP90
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  • Christian Moreau Chablis Vaillon Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Christian Moreau Chablis Vaillon Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
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    • WS90
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  • Foxen Block UU Bien Nacido Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Foxen Block UU Bien Nacido Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
    • WE93
    • RP92
    • W&S90
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  • Domaine Comtesse de Cherisey Puligny-Montrachet Hameau de Blagny Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Domaine Comtesse de Cherisey Puligny-Montrachet Hameau de Blagny Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S92
    • RP91
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  • Antinori Castello della Sala Cervaro 2011 Front Label
    Antinori Castello della Sala Cervaro 2011
    Chardonnay from Umbria, Italy
    • JS95
    • WS90
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Beaune Blanc 2011 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Beaune Blanc 2011
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • BH91
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  • Chateau Fuisse Pouilly-Fuisse Les Brules 2011 Front Label
    Chateau Fuisse Pouilly-Fuisse Les Brules 2011
    Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
    • RP94
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  • Rochioli Estate Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Rochioli Estate Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S93
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    • WS90
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  • Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S92
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  • Mount Eden Vineyards Wolff Vineyard Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Mount Eden Vineyards Wolff Vineyard Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Edna Valley, Central Coast, California
    • W&S91
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  • Lioco Sonoma Chardonnay 2011 Front Label
    Lioco Sonoma Chardonnay 2011
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • W&S93
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot Monopole Premier Cru 2011 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Vougeot Le Clos Blanc de Vougeot Monopole Premier Cru 2011
    Chardonnay from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S92
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