TOP CHARDONNAY WINE

TOP CHARDONNAY WINE

Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used in the production of white wine. The variety originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France, but is now grown wherever wine is produced, from England to New Zealand. For new and developing wine regions, growing Chardonnay is seen as a ‘rite of passage’ and an easy entry into the international wine market.

Chardonnay Grapes
Chardonnay Grapes

Top Chardonnay wine is the most popular white wine on earth and, more recently, it has also become the most divisive. Travel to any wine region in the world, and you’ll find at least one vineyard growing Chardonnay. It’s a wine that can be simple or regal, aged for many years or consumed immediately.

Chardonnay was born in the Burgundy region of France, where it is known as White Burgundy, and it was there that the wine gained great acclaim for its elegance.

Soon after Chardonnay’s rise in popularity, winemakers in Champagne began to grow the grape as well, using it as the dominant ingredient for their sparkling wines.

Chardonnay Wine
Overhead view of a group of friends toasting at a dinner party.

Chardonnay Origins

For much of its history, a connection was assumed between Chardonnay and Pinot noir or Pinot blanc. In addition to being found in the same region of France for centuries, it was noted that the leaves of each plant have near-identical shape and structure. Chardonnay’s true origins were further obscured by vineyard owners in Lebanon and Syria, who claimed that the grape’s ancestry could be traced to returning Crusader who introduced the grape to Europe. There has been no solid external evidence supports that theory.  Another theory stated that it originated from an ancient indigenous vine found in Cyprus. The Chardonnay grape itself is neutral, with many of the flavors commonly associated with the wine being derived from such influences as terroir and oak. It is vinified in many styles, from the lean, crisply mineral wines of Chablis, France, to New World wines with oak and tropical fruit flavors. In cool climates (such as Chablis and the Carneros AVA of California), Top Chardonnay wine tends to be medium to light body with noticeable acidity and flavors of green plum, apple, and pear. In warmer locations Australia and New Zealand), the flavors become more citrus, peach, and melon, while in very warm locations as California, more fig and tropical fruit notes such as banana and mango come out.

Chardonnay is an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne and Franciacorta in Italy.

Modern DNA fingerprinting research has now suggested that Chardonnay is the result of a cross between the Pinot noir and Gouais blanc grape varieties. The Romans are thought to have brought Gouais Blanc from Croatia, and it was widely cultivated by peasants in eastern France. The Pinot of the French aristocracy grew in proximity to the Gouais blanc, resulting in grapes having an opportunity to interbreed. Since the two parents were genetically distant, many of the crosses showed hybrid vigor and were selected for further propagation.

Chardonnay grapes are complicated as they take on very different characteristics when in Champagne than in Burgundy. Winemakers began to realize that the grape could truly embody the region and area where the wine is grown. No two places that grow Chardonnay produces the exact same wine, yet every region finds it is relatively easy to grow.

Chardonnay Growth Conditions

While Chardonnay can adapt to almost all vineyard soils, the three it seems to like most are chalk, clay, and limestone, all very prevalent throughout Chardonnay’s traditional “homeland”. The Grand Cruz of Chablis are planted on hillsides composed of limestone, and chalk. The outlying regions, falling under the more basic “Petit Chablis” appellation, are planted on Portlandian limestone which produces wines with less finesse. Chalk beds are found throughout the Champagne region, and the Côte-d’Or has many areas composed of limestone and clay. In Burgundy, the amount of limestone to which the Chardonnay vines are exposed also seems to have some effect on the resulting wine. In the Meursault region, the premier Cruz vineyards planted at Meursault-Charmes have topsoil almost 79 in above limestone and the resulting wines are very rich and rounded. In the nearby Les Perrieres vineyard, the topsoil is only around 12 in above the limestone and the wine from that region is much more powerful, minerally, and tight, needing longer in the bottle to develop fully. In other areas, soil type can compensate for a lack of ideal climate conditions. In South Africa, for example, regions with stonier, shaley soils and high clay levels tend to produce lower-yielding and more Burgundian-style wine, despite having a discernibly warmer climate than France. In contrast, South African Chardonnay produced from more sandstone-based vineyards tend to be richer and more weighty

Chardonnay Grape
Autumn Grape Harvest

As the grape quickly spread across the world, winemakers discovered that warm climates would produce a Chardonnay grape that was full of tropical flavors, while in cooler climates the grape had flavors of apple as well as earthy fall aromas such as mushrooms and fresh leaves. With the variety of different Chardonnays that can be produced around the world, wine drinkers literally have a Chardonnay for every season and occasion. This worldwide variety allows Chardonnay to go extremely well on its own while sitting outside in the summer, or even on a cold winter’s night with a hearty stew.

Top Chardonnay Wine Food Pairing

Appetizers:

  • Hummus with Pita Chip,
  • Shrimp Baked with Herbs,
  • Seafood Terrine

Cheese:

  • Brie
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Ricotta
  • Brillat-Savarin
  • Fontina

Vegetables:

  • Green Peas
  • White Beans
  • Zucchini
  • Edamame
  • Butternut Squash
  • Carrots
  • Yams/Sweet Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Pumpkin
  • Truffles and Mushrooms
  • Fruits:
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Peach
  • Mango
  • Lemon

Pizza:

  • White Pizza with Chicken,
  • Mushrooms and Mozzarella,
  • Mushroom & Brie Pizza,
  • Apple and Brie Pizza.
  • Four Cheese White Pizza

Pasta / Polenta / Risotto:

  • Lemony Shrimp Risotto
  • Wild Mushroom & Herb Pasta
  • Spring Vegetable Risotto Fettuccine with Scallops & White Wine

Sauce:

  • Pasta Creamy Chicken Sauce
  • Butternut Squash Risotto
  • Fettuccine Alfredo
  • Creamy Pasta Primavera
  • Fettuccine with Scallops & Cream Sauce
  • Polenta with Beurre Blanc and Scallops

Pork:

Roast Pork with Wine or Lemon

  • Pork Chop with Gremolata
  • Roast Pork with Cream or Apples
  • Pork Chop with Cream and Calvados
  • White Sausage (Boudin Blanc)
  • Hazelnut-Crusted Pork Chops

Poultry:

  • Poached Chicken with Lemon Butter Sauce
  • Baked Chicken Breasts with Tarragon
  • Baked Chicken with Herbs & Mushrooms
  • Roast Chicken with Herbs
  • Wine-Braised Chicken with Mashed Potatoes
  • Grilled Lemon-Garlic Turkey
  • Pecan-Crusted Chicken
  • Roast Turkey with Stuffing
  • Chicken/Turkey Pot Pie

Soup:

  • Vichyssoise
  • Creamy Vegetable Soup
  • Pureed White Bean Soup Seafood Bisque
  • Corn Chowder
  • Butternut Squash Soup

Salad:

  • Chicken Salad with Grapes
  • Poached Salmon Salad
  • Tarragon Lobster Salad
  • Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad with Apples and Brie
  • Warm Scallop Salad with Mango and Hazelnuts

Sauce:

  • Wine Sauce
  • Butter Sauce
  • Cream Sauce
  • Mild Cheese Sauce

Seafood:

  • Sole with Butter & Lemon
  • Almond-Crusted Trout
  • Crab Cakes
  • Lobster with Drawn Butter
  • Pan-Seared Scallops
  • Classic Crab Roll
  • Baked/Poached Salmon Cod
  • Halibut with Brown Butter
  • Lobster/Scallops with Butter & Cream
  • Macadamia-Crusted Mahi-Mahi
  • Seared Sea Bass on Potato Puree
  • Lobster Pot Pie

Please chose from our samples of fine Chardonnay below or go to our site for select from all fine wine and spirits.

  Kendall-Jackson Jackson Estate Camelot Highlands Chardonnay 2016

  Louis Latour Ardeche Chardonnay 2016

  Benjamin Leroux Meursault 2017

  Pepperlwood Grove Chardonnay

  Mer Soleil Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Chardonnay 2017

  Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay 2016

Joseph Drouhin St. Veran 2017

Olivier Leflaive Meursault 2016

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4 thoughts on “TOP CHARDONNAY WINE”

  1. In my experience it’s hard to find a good chardonnay, but you going through exactly what makes one really helps see what a person should be looking for. I so appreciate the wine pairings, I often don’t know what to eat when I have wine because not everything works! Thanks I will definitely be trying out some Seafood Terrine next time I have my chardonnay!!

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  2. I enjoy my Chardonnay with a good seafood. Especially, talking with my friends over the meal. I prefer the old world but open for the new world Chardonnay as well. (I also love Champagne!) I also enjoy a blend white Burgundy, man I can talk about wines all day! I’m craving a white pizza with some good truffle and a good glass of Chardonnay. 

    I love Olivier Leflaive, not sure which year I had but it was wonderful. Thanks for the suggestion, will give some of them a try.

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  3. Hello Joe, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I enjoy drinking chardonnay wine although I did not know its origin. I especially enjoy drinking it with cheese and vegetables, then it has the most delicious taste. I am glad I stumbled upon your article because I learned something new about this awesome wine.

    Reply
  4. Many thanks to you for sharing such an excellent article with us.CHARDONNAY WINE is one of the most popular white wines in the world and has recently become one of the most divisive.And these four were born in Bar Gondi, France, where I have long been known by name and white wine.And the French farmers cultivated a large amount of grapes on the run.

    Reply

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