What is Chardonnay?

By Kuan Yew Tan / September 17, 2020

Chardonnay is a white wine made from a green skinned variety of grapes.  The flavors associated with a Chardonnay is terroir and oak.  It is considered to be a neutral wine, light in flavor.  Many of the places around the world known for producing Chardonnay include France, Burgundy, Champagne, North America, California, Australia, Italy, and the New World Wine Regions.

There are many types of Chardonnay from dry still wines and sweet late harvest wines.  If a Chardonnay has not gone through a malolactic fermentation the wine will have an apple flavor.  The harder the malic acid is when it is converted through fermentation it will have a more buttery flavor. 

The oak is also charred to a certain degree which introduces a toastiness flavor.  Many wine tasters mistake this flavor to the grapes but it is from the charring of the oak.  Some of the flavors that Chardonnay can taste like due to the charring of the oak include coconut, cinnamon, cloves, spice, smoke, cream, caramel, and vanilla.

When Chardonnay is fermented it also affects the flavor of the wine.  For instance, the colder the fermentation process is the more fruity the wine tastes.  These flavors include mango and pineapple.  Some wineries also use yeast that is specially cultivated which gives the wines an aromatic quality.

Chardonnay is the most difficult wine to recognize in a blind tasting because there is not a distinct universal trait or style that is directly applied to the wine.  There are many different flavors, blends, and more.  Not all Chardonnays have a smoky note to them either.

Browse our collection of Chardonnay here

 

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