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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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  • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay (half-bottle) 1997 Front Label
    Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay (half-bottle) 1997
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • WS87
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  • Rosemount Roxburgh Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Rosemount Roxburgh Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia
    • WS90
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  • Petaluma Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Australia
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    • RP86
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  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Reserve Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS92
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  • Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Chardonnay (half-bottle) 1997
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    • RP87
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  • Penfolds Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Penfolds Adelaide Hills Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
    • WS91
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  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Chateau Ste. Michelle Canoe Ridge Estate Vineyard Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS87
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  • Stonehaven Reserve Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Stonehaven Reserve Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Australia
    • WS89
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  • Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • WS93
    • RP91
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  • Hogue Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Hogue Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS87
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  • Wynns Coonawarra Estate Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia
    • WS88
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  • Belvedere Sonoma County Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Belvedere Sonoma County Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • WS85
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  • Van Duzer Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Van Duzer Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS85
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  • Gundlach Bundschu Sangiacomo Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Gundlach Bundschu Sangiacomo Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • WS86
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    21 49
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  • Seven Peaks Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Seven Peaks Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • WS87
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  • Argyle Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Argyle Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS88
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  • Kenwood Sonoma County Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Kenwood Sonoma County Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • WS87
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  • Firestone Santa Ynez Valley Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Firestone Santa Ynez Valley Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • WS87
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  • Rex Hill Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Rex Hill Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS87
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  • Kumeu River Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Kumeu River Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from New Zealand
    • WS90
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  • Mirassou Harvest Reserve Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Mirassou Harvest Reserve Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • WS87
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  • Lockwood Estate Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Lockwood Estate Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • WS87
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  • Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • WS87
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  • William Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    William Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
    • WS87
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  • Chehalem Chardonnay 1997 Front Label
    Chehalem Chardonnay 1997
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS85
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