Cards of Wine

Chardonnay (USA)

Chardonnays from USA tend to be more fruity, more buttery, and more oaked than French Chardonnays.

Cool Climate Flavors

Lemon
Lemon
Apple
Apple
Pear
Pear
Peach
Peach
Almonds
Almonds
Flowers
Flowers
Herbs
Herbs
Salt
Salt

Warm Climate Flavors

Orange
Orange
Yellow Apple
Yellow
Apple
Mango
Mango
Pineapple
Pineapple

Oak Added Flavors

Vanilla
Vanilla
Butter
Butter
Toast
Toast
Coconut
Coconut

Citrus, Green Apple, Pear, White Peach, and Minerality are typical Cold climate flavors.

Orange, Yellow Apple, Peach, and Tropical Fruit are typical Warm climate flavors.

Profile

Oaked Chardonnays tend to be full bodied with high alcohol.

SUGARDry
BODYFull
FRUITMedium
ACIDITYMedium
Serving temperature:
10-14°C (50-57°F)

Food Pairing

Antipasti
Antipasti
Vegetables
Vegetables
Asparagus
Asparagus
Pasta
Pasta
Fish
Fish
Chicken
Chicken
Pork
Pork
Risotto
Risotto

Chardonnay is very food friendly.

Italian. Spanish. International. Asian. Mexican. Vegetarian.

Pairing Suggestions

Excellent Pairings:
Anything with Creamy or Buttery Sauce.
Lobster or Salmon with Drawn Butter.
Pasta in Creamy Sauce. Risotto.
Lobster. Salmon. Tuna. Fish Cakes.
Chicken. Poultry. Pork.
Roasted Veggies. Pumpkin. Mushroom. Onion. Garlic.
Dried Fruit. Hazelnuts. Cashew. Pecans. Coconut.

Cheese:
Aged, Salty, or Nutty Cheeses.
Cheddar. Comté. Gruyère. Manchego. Parmigiano. Pecorino.

About Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a village in South Burgundy, and Chardonnay is the most popular white wine grape in the world.

Chardonnay is a grape with a limited (not very aromatic) taste. It produces neutral wines that need help to become interesting.

This can be done in several ways. One common way is to ferment or store the wine in oak barrels.

Chardonnay also easily absorbs the taste of the soil (terroir), and this is consciously used to complement Chardonnay's taste profile in Europe.

Quality Chardonnay wines always have a round character, a great length, and a rich after-taste, but Chardonnay shows a multitude of styles all over the world, from totally uninteresting, strong alcoholic wines with artificial fruit aromas, to the world's most sublime, perfect balanced wines.

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

In warmer locations the flavors are more yellow apple, peach, melon, and tropical fruit such as pinapple and mango.

Chablis vs California

Chablis in France and California in USA are good examples of two very different expressions of the same grape.

Chablis is best known for producing excellent, fresh, and light wines with appealing apple and citrus aromas

California is best known for power, heavy oak, and tropical aromas.

People who like Californian Chardonnay with low acid and high alcohol, may say that a young Chablis is too acidic, and some people may say that they don't like the taste of Chardonnay, because they don't like the taste of oak.

Sparkling Chardonnay

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

Why so Popular?

Chardonnay is popular for 3 important reasons:

Chardonnay wines have no sharp edges and no high acid content. The grape produces large crops and it is not picky about soil and climate. The fact that the wines are easy to sell, also contributes to the grape's popularity among the wine producers.

Chardonnay in USA

California is a southerly, hot growing region with plenty of sunshine and little rain. Soils are warm and fertile, derfor is ripening accelerated: it`s not uncommon to harvest grapes in August. It`s even blessed with weather predictability!

Russian River Valley, Sonoma and Mendocino Counties (apples, pears, peaches)
Carneros, Sonoma and Napa Counties (flinty)
Monterey County (citric, lemony)
Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County (pineapple, tropical)
Edna Valley, San Luis Obispo County (apricot, fleshy).

In Washington State is Chardonnay second only to Riesling as the most planted wine grape. The climate is colder than in California and results in bright fruit and tropical flavors both in stainless-steel and oak-aged styles. Winemakers here have a tendency to use french oak barrels and the result is very elegant and very "french".

In Oregon big winemakers from California and Burgundy (France) have invested in new Chardonnay vineyards.

New York State has a similar climate to Rhine region in Germany: the area remains cool due to proximity of 11 deep glacial lakes. This results in a Chardonnay with brisk acidity and clean aromas of apple, pear, white stone fruit and melon.

Read More

Chardonnay is the most popular white wine grape in the world.

You can read more about the grape at Chardonnay Grapes.

You can read more about the world wide production at Chardonnay Regions.

The Ideal Glass

The Montrachet glass is perfect for full-bodied white wines such as:

The wide bowl steers the wine to the sensitive parts of the tongue, ensuring that the acidity creates a harmonious balance with the sweet aromas of aged wines.

The wide bowl allows the full bouquet of aromas to develop, and minimise the risk for it to be over-concentrated.