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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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  • Longridge Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
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  • Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
    • RP96
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  • Au Bon Climat Talley Vineyard Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
    • WE89
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  • Kistler Vineyards McCrea Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Kistler Vineyards McCrea Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • RP94
    • WS92
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  • Badger Mountain Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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  • Calera Central Coast Chardonnay (half-bottle) 1998
    Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
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  • Acacia Carneros Chardonnay (half-bottle) 1998
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
    • WS89
    • RP87
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  • Ponzi Reserve Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
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  • Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
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  • Columbia Crest Estate Series Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Columbia Crest Estate Series Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS90
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  • Columbia Winery Wyckoff Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS89
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  • Fetzer Barrel Select Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from North Coast, California
    • WE87
    • WS87
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  • Woodward Canyon Conner Lee Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Woodward Canyon Conner Lee Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WS90
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  • Jacob's Creek Padthaway Reserve Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Jacob's Creek Padthaway Reserve Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Padthaway, South Australia, Australia
    • WS87
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  • Buckeley's Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Buckeley's Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Australia
    • WS88
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  • Clos du Bois Flintwood Vineyard Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Clos du Bois Flintwood Vineyard Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
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  • Henry Estate Barrel Fermented Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Umpqua Valley, Oregon
    • WS86
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  • Clos Du Val Carneros Chardonnay (375ML half-bottle) 1998
    Chardonnay from Carneros, California
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  • Wyndham Oak Cask Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Australia
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  • Bulletin Place Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Bulletin Place Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Australia
    • WS85
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  • Gallo of Sonoma Stefani Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
    • WS87
    • W&S86
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  • Erath Vintage Select Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Erath Vintage Select Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS85
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  • Eola Hills Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Eola Hills Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS87
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  • Rosemount Diamond Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Rosemount Diamond Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from Australia
    • WS87
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  • Kumeu River Chardonnay 1998 Front Label
    Kumeu River Chardonnay 1998
    Chardonnay from New Zealand
    • WS91
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