Chardonnay | Total Wine & More | Total Wine & More

Browser not compatible

The current browser is not compatible. Please upgrade the browser!

Total Wine & More Logo

image
image

Exceptional Wines

What is Mix 6?

Welcome to Total Wine & More.
Click on the store name to find information about your closest store.
Not the right store?
Change your location
image
image

Exceptional Wines

What is Mix 6?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla

Please wait..
Guide to wine
Chardonnay

CHARDONNAY

Everybody has an opinion on Chardonnay – surely the world’s best-known white wine variety.

But which Chardonnay do you know? Grown in cool climates, the variety delivers apple, pear and citrus fruit flavors and refreshing acidity. More moderate climates produce riper Chardonnay grapes with medium acidity and stone-fruit flavors. In warm regions, the typical Chardonnay taste is tropical, with pineapple and banana flavors, balanced with medium acidity.

In California, while an increasing number of winemakers offer unoaked or “naked” Chardonnays that more closely reflect Old World wine styles, most are dedicated to an oaky, New World style. The state’s many warm regions produce wines with high alcohol and full body, with cream, butterscotch, oak, peach and tropical fruit flavors. Cooler enclaves, such as Napa and Sonoma’s Carneros and Russian River Valley regions, deliver a more restrained Chardonnay.

Winemaking techniques add important secondary flavors to Chardonnay.

The popular buttery Chardonnay, the oaky Chardonnay with its devoted followers, is created by aging the wine with oak. This process adds body and flavors that can include butterscotch, vanilla, spice, nuts, toast and, of course, oak. Malolactic fermentation—a process that converts tart acids into softer, round ones—adds creamy flavor and body. Aging the wine on its lees (the yeast from fermentation) adds bready, yeasty notes.

Though it now grows in all the world’s major wine regions, Chardonnay’s original home is in Burgundy, in France. (Though they’re usually labeled by appellation, not variety, the most renowned white Burgundies are Chardonnay.) At the most northern end of Burgundy, French Chardonnay winemakers make cool-climate, dry Chardonnay in the village of Chablis, where the wines are unoaked, crisp and steely. Moving south, winemakers of the Côte d’Or make some of the most exquisite examples within world-famous appellations. In Grapes & Wines: A Comprehensive Guide to Varieties and Flavour, Oz Clarke and Margaret Rand offer helpful descriptions of the differing styles: “Montrachet is smoky and immensely concentrated; Meursault buttery and oatmealy; Puligny-Montrachet structured, savoury and tight; Chassagne-Montrachet nuttier, and Corton-Charlemagne rich yet minerally.”

Other fine examples are made in the Pacific Northwest, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, Chile and elsewhere. Most are dry, but some are off-dry with a hint of residual sugar.

Around the world Chardonnay is used in a wide range of sparkling wines, from light, crisp bubblies to big, yeasty mature versions. In Champagne, it’s blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to make rich white and rosé sparkling wines, and it stands alone in exquisite Blanc de Blancs.

Pronunciation
[Shar-doe-NAY]

Recommended food pairings
Seafood, chicken, vegetarian entrees, lightly sauced pastas, salads and cheeses

Serving temperature
55-57°

You may also be interested in…

producer stories

producer stories

classes & events

classes & events

winery direct

winery direct

about us

about us

Return to top