Chardonnay

Chardonnay is one of the most-widely planted varieties in the world.

Arguably not the most characterful grape, hence its common ageing in oak, yet at its pinnacle in Burgundy it produces some of the greatest (and certainly most expensive) white wines in the world. Look out for unoaked Chardonnay, it can make a pleasant change, and usually goes down very well with all those people who say they "don't like Chardonnay".

Origins       

  • Probably Saone-et-Loire in 16th-17th centuries. (Used to be thought in Lebanon, called Meroué and Obaideh, and Syria)
  • Natural cross of Pinot x Gouais Blanc; and related to Gamay, Melon and Aligote

Characteristics   

  • Moderately vigorous, and very easy to grow. ‘The most forgiving variety of all’, Brian Croser, Petaluma Winery, Australia.
  • Prefers calcareous (limestone-based) soils
  • Early budding, so prone to frost damage, but also ripens early
  • High yielding: can be 80 hl/ha, but 50 hl/ha is required for really high quality
  • Produces high sugars and therefore high alcohol levels
  • Acidity falls fast in hot climates, leading to a danger of flabbiness
  • Tastes and flavours vary from barely ripe apples (Chablis), melon (Mâconnais), exotic fruits (California), to buttery (Meursault)

Vinification/ Maturation   

  • Vinification can take place in stainless steel vats to produce simple, steely or mineral styles; or alternatively barrel fermented, often with lees stirring (batonnage), to produce an oaky, yeasty wine with greater complexity
  • Oak is a key element in the maturation of Chardonnay: new oak barrels can be used at one extreme to add the maximum elegant oak flavour; or partially used oak barrels; or big old oak vats which add little flavour; or oak chips or staves may be added to the wine (the cheap and cheerful method)
  • Very malleable for the winemaker

Homelands within France:     

  • Cote d'Or: aristocratic, the role model for all other Chardonnays, the finest, subtlest, most complex dry white wines. Arguably the finest oaked dry white wine in the world.
  • Chablis: pure mineral flavours, due to northern climate and calcareous soil. Barrel fermentation and oak ageing rarely used. High acid, unadorned Chardonnay of simplicity, refinement and considerable ageing potential
  • Champagne: blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay is the ingredient adding aristocratic vitality

Also to be found in:
France: Languedoc (notably Limoux), the Jura; Italy; Spain; California; Oregon; South Africa;  Australia; Chile; New Zealand; and Argentina.

Our Chardonnay Wines…

Agnes Paquet, Auxey-Duresses Blanc, 2017

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Agnes Paquet, Auxey-Duresses Blanc, 2017

"Racy and delicate. Complete and everything absolutely in the right place. Obviously Côte...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodePAQ217

GrapeChardonnay

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Diamant, Cremant de Loire, NV

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Diamant, Cremant de Loire, NV

An easy-drinking, light, perfectly clean and fresh sparkling wine from Chenin Blanc and...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLoire

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeDIA1NV

GrapeChenin Blanc & Chardonnay

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Pol Roger, Champagne Réserve, Brut, NV

The classic, white foil cuvée, a blend of roughly equal thirds of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionChampagne

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodePOL1NV

GrapeChardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier

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Domaine d'Elise, Chablis, 2018

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Domaine d'Elise, Chablis, 2018

From vines on the slopes above Milly, on pure white hard chalk soils. Always creamy but with...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeELS218

GrapeChardonnay

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Francoise & Denis Clair, Saint Aubin Blanc, 1er Cru Murgers des Dents de Chien, 2016

 Sited on the rocky slopes above the Montrachets, this is rightly considered one of the top...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeCLB416

GrapeChardonnay

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Domaine Fourrey, Chablis, 2019

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Domaine Fourrey, Chablis, 2019

Ripe, almost lightly honeyed scents, and then attractive flavours of citrus and dairy. One can...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeFRR119

GrapeChardonnay

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Thomas-Hatté, Champagne Rosé, Brut, NV

Based on Pinot Meunier. Pale pink. Red fruit and creamy nougat notes. Gentle and elegant: very...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionChampagne

ColourRosé

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeHAT5NV

GrapePinot Meunier, Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

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Thomas-Hatté, Champagne, Tradition, Brut, NV

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Thomas-Hatté, Champagne, Tradition, Brut, NV

Our "house" Champagne, crafted by fifth generation champagne grower Franck Thomas...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionChampagne

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeHAT1NV

GrapePinot Meunier, Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

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Felton Road, Bannockburn Chardonnay, Central Otago, 2018

 The Chardonnay at Felton Road is Burgundian in style, and, we think, improving with every...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginNew Zealand

RegionCentral Otago

ColourWhite

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeFET118

GrapeChardonnay

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Pol Roger, Champagne Vintage Brut, 2012

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Pol Roger, Champagne Vintage Brut, 2012

The blend for this famously long-lived vintage wine with its retro black and gold label is...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionChampagne

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodePOL312

GrapePinot Noir & Chardonnay

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Domaine J. Laurens, Blanquette de Limoux Brut, Le Moulin, NV

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Domaine J. Laurens, Blanquette de Limoux Brut, Le Moulin, NV

Elegantly made, using Champagne techniques, from 90% Mauzac, the traditional variety of Limoux,...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeLAU1NV

GrapeMauzac & Chardonnay

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Domaine J. Laurens, Cremant de Limoux Brut, Les Graimenous, 2018

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Domaine J. Laurens, Cremant de Limoux Brut, Les Graimenous, 2018

We have always said this was a dead ringer for Champagne (and frankly much more fun to drink...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeLAU318

GrapeChardonnay, Chenin Blanc & Pinot Noir

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Cottonworth, Sparkling Rosé, Brut, NV

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Matthew Jukes
Cottonworth, Sparkling Rosé, Brut, NV

From very well-sited south facing vineyards in the Test Valley just a few miles west of us in...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginUK

RegionTest Valley

ColourRosé

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeCOT5NV

GrapePinot Noir, Pinot Meunier & Chardonnay

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Pandolfi Price, Larkun Chardonnay, Valle del Itata, 2018

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Pandolfi Price, Larkun Chardonnay, Valle del Itata, 2018

François Massoc, a gentle, thoughtful man, is a master winemaker. Born just down the road in...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginChile

RegionItata

ColourWhite

ABV14%

Bottle75cl

CodePAP118

GrapeChardonnay

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Pandolfi Price, Los Patricios Chardonnay, Valle del Itata, 2016

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Jancis Robinson
Pandolfi Price, Los Patricios Chardonnay, Valle del Itata, 2016

"It has an open aroma and the oak accompanies, but does not overwhelm. The fruit is ripe....

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginChile

RegionItata

ColourWhite

ABV15%

Bottle75cl

CodePAP316

GrapeChardonnay

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Cottonworth, Classic Cuvee, English Sparkling Wine, NV

 Perfectly planted vineyards in the Test Valley facing south and east. Awarded two gold medals...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginUK

RegionHampshire

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeCOT1NV

GrapeChardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier

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Francoise & Denis Clair, Santenay Blanc 2016

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Francoise & Denis Clair, Santenay Blanc 2016

A generous style; here the clay soils give real body. Quite fat and round.Citrus seems almost...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeCLB116

GrapeChardonnay

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MAGNUM Thomas-Hatté, Champagne Brut, NV

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MAGNUM Thomas-Hatté, Champagne Brut, NV
MAGNUM Thomas-Hatté, Champagne Brut, NV

Our "house" Champagne, crafted by fifth generation champagne grower Franck Thomas...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionChampagne

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Magnum150cl

CodeHAT9NV

GrapePinot Menuir, Chardonnay & Pinot Noir

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Domaine des Dieux, Methode Cap Classique, Rosé, Rose of Sharon,  Walker Bay, 2011

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Jancis Robinson
Domaine des Dieux, Methode Cap Classique, Rosé, Rose of Sharon, Walker Bay, 2011

One of the newer MCC producers. 58% Pinot Noir and 42% Chardonnay. Have a 28-ha farm of which...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginSouth Africa

RegionWalker Bay

ColourRosé

ABV11.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeDDD411

GrapeChardonnay

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Thomas-Hatté, Champagne, Brut, Millésime 2014

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Thomas-Hatté, Champagne, Brut, Millésime 2014

We all love Franck Thomas's vintage Champagne and feel we don't feature it enough as...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionChampagne

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeHAT614

GrapeChardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier

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Karu, Chardonnay, Valle Central, 2019

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Karu, Chardonnay, Valle Central, 2019

Crafted by the winemaking team at Vina Emiliana, this is a well-made, ripe, pineapple-accented...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginChile

RegionValle Central

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeKAR119

GrapeChardonnay

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Mac Forbes, Woori Yallock Chardonnay, Yarra Valley, 2016,

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Mac Forbes, Woori Yallock Chardonnay, Yarra Valley, 2016,

From a south facing cool site in the Upper Yarra planted in 1995. Panoply of scents:...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginAustralia

RegionYarra Valley

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeMAC116

GrapeChardonnay

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Domaine Begude, Chardonnay, L'Etoile, Limoux, 2019

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Domaine Begude, Chardonnay, L'Etoile, Limoux, 2019

This is a star barrel-fermented Chardonnay, from very low yields - less than half those in...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLimoux

ColourWhite

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeBEG219

GrapeChardonnay

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La Combe Saint-Paul, Chardonnay, IGP Pays d'Oc, 2020

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La Combe Saint-Paul, Chardonnay, IGP Pays d'Oc, 2020

Unoaked, this Chardonnay shows peach, apricot and citrus fruit flavours. Ripe and textured but...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionLanguedoc

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeCSP120

GrapeChardonnay

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Hoddles Creek, Syberia Chardonnay, Yarra Valley, 2016

From a single vineyard, a high cool site in cleared forest in the Upper Yarra. Greater density...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginAustralia

RegionYarra Valley

ColourWhite

ABV13.3%

Bottle75cl

CodeHOD316

GrapeChardonnay

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Francoise & Denis Clair, Saint-Aubin Blanc 1er Cru, Sous Roche Dumay 2017

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Francoise & Denis Clair, Saint-Aubin Blanc 1er Cru, Sous Roche Dumay 2017

Sous Roche Dumay is well sited between Champlots and Murgers des Dents de Chien;...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13%

Bottle75cl

CodeCLB517

GrapeChardonnay

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Domaine des Dieux, Methode Cap Classique, Brut, Claudia, South Africa, 2013

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Jancis Robinson
Domaine des Dieux, Methode Cap Classique, Brut, Claudia, South Africa, 2013

"This South African wine may taste slightly more like a sparkling Chardonnay than...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginSouth Africa

RegionElgin

ColourWhite

ABV12%

Bottle75cl

CodeDDD413

GrapeChardonnay & Pinot Noir

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MAGNUM Exton Park, Britagne, Reserve Brut, NV

Made from 60% Pinot Noir and 40% of Chardonnay, blended from several harvests but currently...

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginEngland

RegionHampshire

ColourWhite

ABV11.5%

Magnum1.5l

CodeEXT9NV

GrapePinot Noir & Chardonnay

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Listening Station Chardonnay, Victoria, 2019

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Listening Station Chardonnay, Victoria, 2019

Unadorned, uncomplicated, simple and light Chardonnay - unoaked and no malolactic fermentation....

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginAustralia

RegionVictoria

ColourWhite

ABV12.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeLIS119

GrapeChardonnay

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Domaine Saumaize-Michelin, Saint Veran Les Crèches, 2017

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Domaine Saumaize-Michelin, Saint Veran Les Crèches, 2017

"Fleshy body with a pithy, bitter-apple note and a touch of sweet spice to finish....

Our Rating

Dry > Sweet

OriginFrance

RegionBurgundy

ColourWhite

ABV13.5%

Bottle75cl

CodeSAU317

GrapeChardonnay

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