A Wine Cellar guide to Chardonnay
Burgundy in east-central France is the birthplace of Chardonnay. Though the region produces some of the finest expressions of this variety, top-quality Chardonnays can be found throughout the Old and New Worlds. An exceptionally malleable and versatile grape, it is made in a variety of styles and reflects the winemaking as much as the vineyard.
In cooler climates, such as Chablis in northern Burgundy, Chardonnay tends to exhibit green apples, pears and steely acidity. In warmer climates, citrus, lime, melon and peach are common. Winemakers often age Chardonnay in French/American oak, imparting a rich, creamy, toasty character to the wines.
Chardonnay is also an important component of quality sparkling wines. Champagnes that are 100% Chardonnay are known as Blanc de Blancs and the best examples are elegant, lively and savoury.