Cards of Wine

Chardonnay (France)

Chardonnay originates from Burgundy in France.

Profile

Body
Sweetness
Fruit
Acidity

Flavors

Less Ripe = Cool Climate:
Citrus (Lemon. Lime. Orange). Green Apple. Pear. White Peach. Honeydew Melon.

More Ripe = Warm Climate:
Yellow Apple. Yellow Peach. Apricot. Pineapple. Melon. Mango. Tropical Fruit.

Oak Aged:
Sweet Wood. Butter (Malolactic Fermentation). Vanilla. Toast. Nuts. Coconut.

Food Pairing

French. American. International.

Anything with Creamy or Buttery Sauce. Drawn Butter.
Lobster. Salmon. Shrimps. Fish Cakes.
Pasta in Creamy Sauce. Roast Chicken. Poultry.

Veggies. Pumpkin. Mushroom. Onion. Garlic.

Dried Fruit. Hazelnuts. Cashew. Pecans. Coconut.

Unoaked Chardonnay pairs best with creamy cheeses:
Brie. Camembert. Chèvre.

Oaked Chardonnay pairs best with aged, salty, or nutty cheeses:
Cheddar. Comté. Gruyère. Manchego. Parmigiano. Pecorino.

Serving temperatures:
Unoaked 8-10°C (46-50°F)
Oaked 10-12°C (50-54°F)

One of the most popular grapes in the world (nr.5 i 2019).

And a white wine that wants to be red!

Cold Climate. Chablis Style Chardonnay: (unoaked)
Citrus. White Fruit. Mineral. Crispy (acidity). Light Bodied.

Warm Climate. California Style Chardonnay: (oaked)
Buttery. Oak-Aged. High Alcohol. Full Bodied.

Color: Pale Yellow (unoaked). Straw Gold (oaked).

Chardonnay in France

In France you often don`t find the name Chardonnay on the label of the bottle, but only the name of the region e.g. Chablis, Meursault, Montrachet, Pouilly-Fuissé.
You are supposed to know that wines from that region are made with Chardonnay grapes!

The reason why Burgundy is the most famous Chardonnay region is geology!
The area is a Jurassic age tidal pool, a prehistoric sea.
Many say that if you find seashells in the soil, you find them also in the wine.
Taste it and find the oceanic salinity!

The Ideal Glass

The shape of a wine glass does in fact change the taste!

There are 2 types of Chardonnay glasses.

One for non-oaked (most of Chablis) and one for oaked (Meursault, Montrachet, most Americans) Chardonnay.

Unoaked Chardonnay (steel aged) is crispy, fruity and young.

The best choice is a smaller U shaped bowl that keeps the aromas inside, takes your nose closer to them and directs the wine in the middle of your mouth, avoiding the sides, where acidity is emphasized.
Unoaked Chardonnay is more acidic on the palate and using this tulip glass your tongue forms a U shape and naturally guides the wine right down the center.

The narrow rim helps also to tilt your head back which accelerates the speed of the wine hitting your tongue.

A smaller bowl helps to serve smaller quantities so the wine keeps a cooler temperature. Remember to hold your glass by the stem!

This wine glass is called Montrachet.
Ideal for oaked creamy, buttery and aged Chardonnay.
The larger bowl directs the wine to the sides and the back of your mouth.
This wide rimmed glass makes you lower your head, slows down the speed and extend the area where the wine hits.
This glass is perfect for full-bodied, oaked white wines such:

Vinification

Chardonnay grape is neutral, delicate and not very aromatic.
But, in the hands of a good winemaker, it transforms like a chameleon!

Naturally most of the flavors come from terroir (soil), climate, and/or oak aging.
But the real magic happens during vinification, that´s why Chardonnay is more a product of the cellar than the vineyard: a "winemaker´s grape".

When people say they don´t like the taste of Chardonnay, what they often mean is that they don´t like the taste of oak.

In cool climates (France), Chardonnay can have a light body with noticeable acidity and flavors of citrus, green apple, and pear.

In warmer locations (Australia, New Zealand, USA, Chile,Argentina, Italy, Austria) the flavors are more yellow apple, peach, melon, and tropical fruit such as pinapple and mango.

Malolactic Fermentation softens the acidity and produces a creamy (buttery) texture.

Steel tank aging can be used to produce a light and mineral Chardonnay, like the famous French Chablis.

Oak barrel aging can be used to produce buttery overtones, vanilla flavors, toast and hazelnut notes.

Chardonnay is an important component of many sparkling wines, including French Champagne and Italian Franciacorta.

Regions

Australia
Australian Chardonnays are rapidly changing from full riped and heavy oaked versions to less oaked, better balanced versions.

Argentina
The cool Andes regions produce a mineral-heavy and vegetative Chardonnay.

Austria
Chardonnays from Austria are typically fresh and mineral driven.

Chile
Chilean Chardonnay is cool climate Chardonnay with apple, pear, and tropical fruit flavors.

France
Chardonnay originates from the Burgundy region of France.

Region: Burgundy, Champagne.

Burgundy Subregion: Chablis, Côte de Beaune, Maconnais.

Appelations Côte de Beaune: Montrachet, Puligny-Montrachet, Chassagne-Montrachet, Meursault, Corton-Charlemagne.

Appelation Maconnais: Macon Blanc, St. Veran, Pouilly-Fuissé.

Italy
Italian Chardonneys are typically leaner and crisper.

New Zealand
New Zealand Chardonnays can have an elegant balance of citrus, minerals, and tropical fruit.

USA
USA is the largest wine market in the world. And Chardonnay is the number one selling wine.