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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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  • Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
    Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • D97
    • WS96
    • JS94
    • W&S93
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  • Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2016  Front Label
    Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis Les Clos Grand Cru 2016
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • W&S94
    • RP93
    • WS91
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  • Vincent Girardin Meursault Les Narvaux 2016 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Meursault Les Narvaux 2016
    Chardonnay from Meursault, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS93
    • W&S92
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  • Chateau Fuisse Pouilly-Fuisse Tete de Cru 2016 Front Label
    Chateau Fuisse Pouilly-Fuisse Tete de Cru 2016
    Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
    • WE92
    • BH91
    • WS90
    • W&S90
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  • Vincent Girardin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vieilles Vignes 2016 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Chassagne-Montrachet Les Vieilles Vignes 2016
    Chardonnay from Chassagne-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S90
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  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
    Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Horse Heaven Hills, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • JS91
    • W&S90
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  • Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
    Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
    • WE93
    • W&S93
    • WS90
    • JD90
    4.2 16 Ratings
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  • Lapostolle Casa Grand Selection Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
    Lapostolle Casa Grand Selection Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Casablanca Valley, Chile
    • JS91
    • W&S90
    4.4 8 Ratings
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  • Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
    Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • D96
    • JS94
    • W&S93
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  • Stonestreet Estate Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
    Stonestreet Estate Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • V93
    • JD92
    • RP92
    • WS92
    • W&S90
    4.7 9 Ratings
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  • Duckhorn Napa Valley Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2016 Front Label
    Duckhorn Napa Valley Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 2016
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • W&S93
    • WW91
    4.3 12 Ratings
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  • B.R. Cohn Silver Label Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
    B.R. Cohn Silver Label Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S91
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  • Billaud-Simon Chablis 2016  Front Label
    Billaud-Simon Chablis 2016
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • W&S93
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  • Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes 2016 Front Label
    Vincent Girardin Puligny-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes 2016
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S91
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  • Mossback Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
    Mossback Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • W&S90
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  • Keenan Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
    Keenan Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • W&S90
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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
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  • Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2016 Front Label
    Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
    • JD95
    • W&S92
    • RP91
    • WS91
    • WE91
    4.1 24 Ratings
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  • Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2016  Front Label
    Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2016
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • RP94
    • W&S93
    • JS92
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  • Alain Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 2016 Front Label
    Alain Chavy Puligny-Montrachet 2016
    Chardonnay from Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • W&S93
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