Let’s Talk About Chardonnay
Chardonnay originated in the Burgundy region of France and is one of the six Noble Grapes. It is now grown in every wine producing country around the world.
This grape is green-skinned and fairly neutral in taste, in fact, most people eating one would not recognize the flavor. Chardonnay grown in a cool climate tends to have noticeable acidity with flavors of green plum, apple, pear, and even earthy mushroom. In warmer locations, the flavors are more citrus, peach, and melon, while very warm regions bring out fig and tropical fruit notes like banana, pineapple and mango.
The Many Faces Of Chardonnay
A dry, medium to full-bodied white wine with a diverse portfolio, there is Chardonnay for every taste, occasion and season. The wines range from earthy, mineral to lean, acidic fresh apple to lush tropical fruit to “butter bomb.” It is an important component of many sparkling wines, including Champagne.
Not surprisingly, terroir – the climate, air, soil, and geography of a grape growing region, influences many of the flavor descriptions. Wine making processes also play a part. Wines that have gone through malolactic fermentation have softer acidity a buttery mouthfeel with dried fruit and hazelnut notes. Sur lie (on the lees) ageing creates similar characteristics while also adding protection from oxidation, as described here.
When aged in oak barrels, Chardonnay takes on spicy, bourbon-y notes with aromas of buttered toast, vanilla, and butterscotch. Oak is a beautiful thing, but more is not better. Unfortunately, the “over-oaking” of the 80s and 90s created many haters of Chardonnay. These drinkers often prefer unoaked wines, which are lighter with zesty apple and citrus flavors.
Chardonnay pairs well with seafood, mac & cheese, grilled chicken, brie, and cheddar cheese.
Need assistance picking the perfect Chard for your special dinner or relaxing afternoon on the deck? Come on in, we’ve got a great selection and we’re always here For You!
Ted, the Old Wine Guy