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 Chardonnay Wine

Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white wine grape and also one of the most widely planted. Although the most highly regarded expressions of the variety are those from Burgundy and California, many high-quality examples are made in Italy, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America.

Describing the flavors of Chardonnay is no easy task. While many Chardonnay wines have high aromatic complexity, this is usually due to winemaking techniques (particularly the use of oak) rather than the variety's intrinsic qualities. Malolactic fermentation gives distinctive buttery aromas. Fermentation and/or maturation in oak barrels contributes notes of vanilla, smoke and hints of sweet spices such as clove and cinnamon. Extended lees contact while in barrel imparts biscuity, doughy flavors. Because of this high level of winemaker involvement, Chardonnay has become known as the "winemaker's wine".

Chardonnay
Chardonnay Leaf and Grapes

The variety itself (although often said to be relatively flavor-neutral) is responsible for most of the fruity flavors found in Chardonnay wines. These range from the tropical (banana, melon, pineapple and guava) to stonefruits (peach, nectarine and apricot), citrus and apples.

Climate plays a major role in dictating which fruit flavors a Chardonnay will have. Broadly speaking, warm regions such as California, Chile and much of Australia tend to give more-tropical styles. Temperate zones such as southern Burgundy or northern New Zealand create wines marked out by stonefruit notes. The very coolest Chardonnay vineyards (those in Chablis, Champagne, Germany) lean towards green-apple aromas.

Mineral descriptors such as chalk, wet stones and crushed seashells also find their way into Chardonnay tasting notes. These are sometimes attributed to the soils in the vineyard, although the relationship between soil and wine flavor has become widely exaggerated. The most famously minerally Chardonnay wines are those of Chablis, one of the very few wine regions to focus on a largely unoaked style of Chardonnay.

Although most famous for its still, dry wines, Chardonnay is used to produce an impressively diverse range of wine styles. The variety is put to use in sparkling wines all over the world (most famously Champagne), when it is usually paired with Pinot Noir. Canada even produces sweet Chardonnay ice wines.

Chardonnay is particularly popular with wine producers, not least because it has a reliable market of keen consumers. The variety produces relatively high yields, will grow in a broad spectrum of climates and can be made into wine of acceptable quality with relative ease. In poor vintages, deficiencies can be covered up with oak flavors, reducing the financial impact of a bad harvest.

In the vineyard, Chardonnay presents a few viticultural challenges, but none that can't be solved with age-old techniques or a little help from technology. (Were this not the case, the variety would certainly not be as successful as it is.) In very warm climates, Chardonnay grapes tend to lose their natural acidity, resulting in flat, overblown wines. This can be partially corrected with a simple addition of acid, or by harvesting early and compensating for lack of flavor by using oak and malolactic fermentation. Vignerons in cooler climates have a quite different problem with the variety, as the vines bud and flower early in the season, making them susceptible to spring frosts. Vignerons in Burgundy (particularly in Chablis) have traditionally mitigated this with braziers between the vine rows. These are not just for warmth – they also create frost-preventing air currents.

Synonyms include: Morillon, Pinot Chardonnay, Feiner Weisser Burgunder.

Popular blends include: Champagne Blend, Chardonnay – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay – Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay – Viognier, Chardonnay Semillon, Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc.

Related grape varieties include: Pinot Noir, Gouais Blanc, Chardonnay Rosé, Chardonnay Blanc Musque.

Food and wine matches for Chardonnay:
Europe: Sole meunière; butternut squash risotto (risotto alla zucca)
Asia: Japanese pork-belly; Ipoh-style roast chicken with rice (nasi ayam)
Americas: Roast chicken or turkey, apple and walnut salad; Conger-eel chowder (caldillo de congrio)
Australasia/Oceania: Whole-roasted barramundi; barbecued garlic shrimps
Africa/Middle East: Tunisian tajine (baked egg and cheese ragout)


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We found 17,781 matches for Chardonnay, only the first 500 will be shown.
Wine Name
Region 
Popularity
Salon Cuvee 'S' Le Mesnil Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, France Champagne Blanc de Blancs $403 83
Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France Le Montrachet $4,956 124
Taittinger Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs, Champagne, France Champagne Blanc de Blancs $164 143
Krug Clos du Mesnil Blanc de Blancs Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Blanc de Blancs $1,068 173
Domaine Leflaive Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France Chevalier-Montrachet $552 221
Domaine Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet, Cote de Beaune, France Puligny-Montrachet $97 276
Domaine Leflaive Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France Batard-Montrachet $428 292
Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Millesime Brut, Champagne, France Champagne Blanc de Blancs $184 308
Kistler Vineyards 'Kistler Vineyard' Chardonnay, Sonoma Valley, USA Sonoma Valley $112 333
Domaine Leflaive Les Pucelles, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru, France Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles $241 356
Domaine Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France Corton-Charlemagne $152 361
Domaine Ramonet Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France Le Montrachet $1,260 364
J. F. - C. R. Coche-Dury Meursault, Cote de Beaune, France Meursault $330 418
Domaine Leflaive Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France Le Montrachet $6,239 420
J. F. - C. R. Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France Corton-Charlemagne $2,331 433
Domaine des Comtes Lafon Montrachet Grand Cru, Cote de Beaune, France Le Montrachet $1,554 434
William Fevre Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru, France Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos $92 459
Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay, Napa Valley, USA Napa Valley $43 463
Rombauer Vineyards Chardonnay, Carneros, USA Carneros $33 465
Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay, California, USA California $13 501
Marcassin Estate Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, USA Sonoma Coast $356 505
Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, Napa Valley, USA Napa Valley $47 525
Domaine Leflaive Clavoillon, Puligny-Montrachet Premier Cru, France Puligny-Montrachet Clavaillon $137 557
J. F. - C. R. Coche-Dury Les Perrieres, Meursault Premier Cru, France Meursault Perrieres $1,401 578
Domaine Francois Raveneau Les Clos, Chablis Grand Cru, France Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos $478 583
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