Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a versatile grape that can be described as both rich and butter and light and crisp. It is a very versatile and controversial grape. Oak aging and a secondary fermentation called Malolactic Fermentation are what give this white it’s classic “buttered popcorn” flavor. This is a traditionally US style of producing Chardonnay, while French Chardonnay’s are often characterized by crisp green apple, honeydew melon and mineral notes. Hints of baked bread and vanilla create depth and offer a delicate richness. Chardonnay can also be aged in stainless steel, creating a light, crisp finish with a bright acidity and notes of green apple, citrus and tropical fruits and minerals.

Key Regions

  • France: Burgundy, Chablis, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault, Macon, Pouilly-Fuisse
  • California, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina

Key Attributes

  • Aromas: Apple, Pear, Citrus Fruits, Tropical Fruits, Lemon Curd, Vanilla, Cream, Buttered Popcorn
  • Flavors: Citrus fruits, Apple, Melon, Banana, Hazelnut, Meringue, Vanilla, Cream and Butter

Styles

  • Unoaked/Stainless Steel Fermented: Crisp and clean with a bright acidity and flavors of citrus and tropical fruits
  • Oaked: Creamy, buttery and rich with notes of vanilla, oak and toasted nuts
  • Malolactic Fermentation: Vanilla, Cream and sweet spices

Classic Pairings

  • Seafood and light appetizers pair well with unoaked Chardonnays
  • Butter poached lobster, shellfish and creamy pasta sauces are perfect for oaky Chard’s
  • Grilled or roasted chicken, pork and risotto are a great match for any style.

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