is probably today's most popular wine grape with good reason as
it produces some of the greatest dry white wines in the world.
(such as White Burgundies as well as being one of the main
grapes used in Champagnes)
Chardonnay vines are at home
in almost every wine producing nation on the planet, for two key
1. It is a very
adaptable grape and can deal with a great deal of climatic variance.
2. The simple fact that
the name Chardonnay on a wine label is practically a guaranteed
If you were to ask many wine
drinkers who enjoy Chardonnay to describe the "taste of
Chardonnay" what they would end up describing would
actually be the characteristics of oak on the wine rather then
the characteristics of the grape itself. Common terms used
to describe Chardonnay's include terms like toasty, smoky,
spicy, vanilla and butterscotch but when you taste those it is
oak you are experiencing.
Why is Chardonnay so often
"oaked" as it has been termed? There are three
key answers to that question.
1. The flavor profile of
Chardonnay is very compatible with oak
2. The most famous of
all Chardonnay based wines (white Burgundy) are aged in oak.
3. The simple fact that
many wine drinkers really enjoy the flavors contributed by oak.
When Chardonnay is not oaked
(such are in Chablis, Wines from Northeastern Italy and in some
California Wines marketed as "unoaked") the flavors
and aromas that come through include fruit such as apple,
tropical fruits especially pineapple in warmer climates.
Chardonnay also can display subtle earthy aromas like minerals
and mushrooms. Chardonnay wine is generally medium to high
in acidity and is usually full bodied compared to other white
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