- From zesty to buttery, from light to full body.
- Very versatile grape, grown all around the world.
- Used to make Champagne.
Chardonnay is a white grape used to make white wine. It is considered to be like a blank canvas as the grapes are quite neutral and adapt very well to different wine-making processes, and they also grow well in different climates.
Burgundy in France is the classic place for Chardonnay, but Chardonnay is in almost all of the wine-producing countries.
Styles of Chardonnay
- Oaky Chardonnay wines tend to be creamy and full-bodied, e.g. Montrachet from the Côte de Beaune (Burgundy, France) or Napa Valley Chardonnays (from California, USA).
- Fresh Chardonnay wines tend to be high in acidity, e.g. Chablis (in the north of Burgundy).
- Sparkling and fresh Chardonnay wines, e.g. Champagne blanc de blancs (from Champagne region in France) .
“I don’t like Chardonnay!”:
Some people may feel that they don’t like Chardonnay because they have only tasted oaky Chardonnay and they haven’t had a chance to taste a fresher style of Chardonnay. So, if you are one of those people who doesn’t like oaky Chardonnay, why not try a Chablis wine the next time you have the opportunity? Or, if you haven’t had the chance to try an oaky Chardonnay wine, but you know that you like full-bodied wines with personality and complexity, why not try an oaky Chardonnay from Napa Valley (from California, USA)?
Most white wines tend to be made in a fresh style where the characteristics of the fruit of the grape are still present. However, in the case of the oaky Chardonnay the aim is that the white wine is full-bodied with a creamy texture and additional flavours like vanilla, toast, honey, spices and nuts.
Where are the oaky Chardonnay flavours and sensations coming from?
They are coming from the way the wine is made:
- The wines are matured in oak barrels. This provides the wine with the opportunity to get the oak flavours of toast and vanilla.
- The wine goes through a second fermentation, called malolactic fermentation. This fermentation makes the acids in the wine soften and provides some creaminess.