CHARDONNAY is known as 'the winemaker's grape' because it's so versatile in the cellar - adapting well to a myriad of winemaking techniques.
It's a chameleon of a wine.
It can range from a very fresh style, to something creamy. It can be all about tart lemon notes, but another style will display a rich tropical character. It can be enjoyed young, or aged to enhance the non-fruit aromas.
There are just so many ways to explore this famous grape... so we'd like to help!
You can scroll to the end of this post for some basic info on the Chardonnay grape ... but if you can't wait to get stuck into some tasting, you can read more about some of our favourites in the 'Celebrate Chardonnay' collection next:
Start off exploring some sparkling wine made from Chardonnay, or a Chardonnay blend.
= Blend of Chardonnay and Malvasia.
Zero dosage Champagne-style sparkling from poet-painter-winemaker with cult following, EDI KANTE.
91/100 "A light-to medium-bodied sparkling with aromas of sliced apples, pears, lemons and biscuits. Dry and fresh with easy bubbles. Mineral and bright." - James Suckling. 86 pts
"A firm and toasty version, with aromatic hints of graphite and honeysuckle accenting the flavors of macerated peach, white cherry and toasted almond." - Wine Spectator.
Move on to a 100% Chardonnay varietal wine.
= 100% Chardonnay from prestigious Barolo winery, Brezza.
A great chance to try an elegant north Italy white at a fantastic price point, from an important producer.
The vines are 30+ years old and grow in soil with a high percentage of silt and sand. Expect a delicate style of Chardonnay (more in line with a Chablis than an oaky style), it's floral and mineral with notes of yellow apple, melon and hints of ripe citrus.
= 100% Chardonnay from mountain winery, Pojer & Sandri.
A nice comparison to the Langhe Chardonnay, this wine gets its character from the Dolomite soil (limestone with calcium and magnesium - giving it recognisable red streaks) and also the mountain climate (high diurnal range - sunny daytime but cooler nights, that lock in the flavours for intensity of fruit). Expect an intense nose with aromas of golden apple, banana and pineapple, plus notes of flint and hay.
Both the 100% Chardonnays are fresh and lively in style, so try them side by side and let us know what you think!! :)
Now let’s explore some Chardonnay blends.
= Blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Kerner, Traminer and Goldtraminer.
Sticking with the Dolomite mountains of Trentino for this wine, but thanks to the later harvest and combination of grape varieties, this is a much richer style.
Stravino di Stravino is an intense, round wine with a complex nose (white flowers, under-ripe pineapple, ripe melon and hints of candied lemon, with vanilla and honey); classic Dolomite minerality to balance the fruity character; a persistent, long finish.
Great food pairing potential. Will be delicious with pork, a creamy mushroom pasta dish, and could even stand up to a richer dish with some spice.
= Blend of Chardonnay, Malvasia, Moscato and Sauvignon, from Tuscany.
Moving further south for this last highlight, Vecciano Bianco is a 'new' wine to the Singapore market - and sister wine to the very popular Super Tuscan VECCIANO (red).
Expect a big hit of sweet citrus notes (yuzu?) and yellow flowers, with a palate of lime (Calamansi lime), grapefruit, peach … and yuzu again! ;) A great wine to pair with rich fish dishes.
FACTS ABOUT CHARDONNAY
What is the origin of the Chardonnay grape?
The Chardonnay grape is believed to have originated in the Burgundy region of France. It is one of the most widely planted and popular white wine grape varieties in the world.
What are the characteristics of Chardonnay grapes?
Chardonnay grapes are known for their versatility and ability to adapt to different climates and winemaking techniques. They have thin skins and are relatively neutral in flavour, allowing winemakers to impart various characteristics through fermentation and aging processes.
What are the primary flavours found in Chardonnay wines?
Chardonnay wines can exhibit a wide range of flavours depending on factors such as the region, climate, and winemaking style. Common flavour profiles include citrus fruits (lemon, grapefruit), tropical fruits (pineapple, mango), tree fruits (apple, pear), and melon.
What are the different styles of Chardonnay wines?
Chardonnay wines can be categorised into two main styles: oaked and unoaked. Oaked Chardonnays are aged in oak barrels, which impart flavours of vanilla, butter, and toast. Unoaked Chardonnays, on the other hand, are fermented and aged in stainless steel or neutral containers, resulting in a fresher and fruit-forward profile.
What is the aging potential of Chardonnay wines?
Chardonnay wines can age gracefully, especially those made from high-quality grapes and produced in a traditional style. Oaked Chardonnays tend to have a longer aging potential, with some premium examples improving over 5-10 years (or even longer for certain styles). Unoaked Chardonnays are generally consumed within a few years of release to preserve their fresh and vibrant flavours.
What food pairings work well with Chardonnay?
Chardonnay's versatility makes it a great companion for a wide range of dishes. It pairs well with seafood, particularly shellfish and grilled fish. Creamy pasta dishes, roasted chicken, and soft cheeses like brie also complement the flavours of Chardonnay.
Overall, the Chardonnay grape offers wine enthusiasts a diverse range of flavours and styles to explore. Whether you prefer a rich and buttery oaked Chardonnay or a crisp and refreshing unoaked version, there is a Chardonnay wine to suit every palate.
Continue exploring Chardonnay, in all its many styles, by browsing the Chardonnay collection here: