Happy Chardonnay day! And this time, I’m a day early with my celebrations. Chardonnay is the sweetheart of the wine world, and for good reason, too. It grows anywhere and everywhere, and is quite expressive of any region it grows in. In this article, I will break-down all the facts you need to know about this all-star grape, Chardonnay. Also, exactly like last time, I’ll follow up with a Lebanese Chardonnay wine list in the next few days. So follow me on Facebook and Instagram and stay tuned!
Chardonnay is a white wine grape variety originating from Burgundy, France. Today, it’s the most planted wine grape in the world, because of its ability to prosper and make attractive wines in very different climates. Chardonnay’s taste profile is as different as all the regions that grow it. It can vary greatly depending on how ripe the grape is, and on the different techniques used in making the wine.
Chardonnay grown in warm climates will result in tropical fruit aromas, like pineapples, while chardonnay grown in cool climates will have citrus and green apple aromas, as well as some earthy scents, like mushrooms and leaves. Additionally, a little oak aging can incredibly compliment a Chardonnay, giving it a creamy mouthfeel and toast and vanilla flavors. This is seems to be the popular style, nowadays. Still, not all chardonnay is oaked, resulting in minerally wine with delicate fruit flavors.
While you’ll probably find chardonnay in every wine growing country in the world, premium chardonnay is made in the below main regions:
Chardonnay is the classic grape for White Burgundy wine. The two most prestigious chardonnay growing regions in Bourgogne or Burgundy are Chablis and Côte d’Or. While they’re both in Burgundy, these two AOCs produce very different styles of Chardonnay. Chablis, a cool climate, makes high-acid unoaked chardonnays with green fruit and citrus aromas and minerally notes. On the other hand, the Côte d’Or, a moderately warm climate, produces full-bodied chardonnays having citrus, tropical, and stone aromas, along with vanilla and spice notes due to oak aging. Below are simplified and accurate profiles of Chablis and Côte d’Or Chardonnay by Vinepair.com.
Also, note that chardonnay is one of the three main grapes used for making Champagne!
Chardonnay is grown all over California, though the most known regions are Sonoma and Carneros. Chardonnay from California can also vary greatly in style. Many are full-bodied and heavily oaked, with intense citrus and peach aromas, while other are savory and steely, made to mirror Old World styles, like Côte d’Or. Below is a simplified and accurate profile of Californian Chardonnay by Vinepair.com:
Finally, it’s good to note that Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and South America have also started producing premium chardonnay that is very expressive of each location’s terroir and climate.
So that was all you need to know about Chardonnay to impress a small crowd at your next party. Stay tuned for the follow-up blog post. I’ll give you a list of Lebanese Chardonnay wines to try, from varietals to blends. So follow me on Facebook and Instagram to know when it’s out!
See you soon with another glass of red!