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Parmigiano Reggiano

Taste the most popular wines

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A varietal that will grow just about anywhere, Chardonnay is truly the winemaker's grape. Granted, the region does impart certain characteristics to the finished product, but it's the choices made in the winery that determines the final outcome. The grape seems to have an affinity for oak, however, too much and you lose the fruit flavors and have only butter notes to show for it. Since it's easy to grow, anybody and everybody does, which means finding impressive versions is harder than you'd think. For those who love this varietal you have an abundance of choices, in every price point, from around the world. Pick up a few different ones from different places and discover what winemaking – and terroir – is all about.

WHAT TO EXPECT: A medium to full-bodied, lemon to golden-colored wine with mild aromatics that vary depending on climate and oak treatment. There are mainly two distinct styles. The first is steel-fermented and aged, which yields a fruitier, crisper, more acidic version with green fruit, citrus and occasionally mineral notes, generally crafted in a colder region. The second, from warmer regions, is barrel-fermented and potentially oak-aged, tends to deliver more ripe green or tropical fruit flavors with less acidity and hints of vanilla, bread or butter. The riper the grape the bigger the flavor.

COOL REGIONS: Australia (Adelaide Hills), Burgundy (Chablis), Italy, New Zealand

MODERATE REGIONS: Burgundy (Macon, Poiully-Fuissé), California (Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Monterey), Oregon, Washington

HOT REGIONS: Argentina, Australia (Hunter Valley), California (Central Coast, Temecula), Chile, South Africa


spacer.gif2010 Bedrock Wine Co. Brousseau Vineyard Chardonnay, Chalone, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2010 Liquid Farm White Hill Chardonnay, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ****
spacer.gif2010 Melville Wente Clone Chardonnay, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2009 Peter Michael "Belle Cote" Chardonnay, Sonoma, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2009 Ramey Wine Cellars Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay, Napa, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2008 Chamisal Vineyards Stainless Steel Chardonnay, Edna Valley, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2008 Domaine Pascale & Mireille Renaud Macon-Solutre, Burgundy, FranceRATING: **
spacer.gif2008 Louis Jadot Chassagne-Montrachet, Burgundy, FranceRATING: **
spacer.gif2007 Lioco Sonoma County Chardonnay, Sonoma, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2007 Luli Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay, Santa Cruz, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2007 NOBOS Chardonnay, Monterey, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2007 Oreana Winery "Project Happiness" Chardonnay, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Coquelicot Winery Estate Chardonnay, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Eric Kent Russian River Chardonnay, Sonoma, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Lafond Winery, Wente Clone Stainless Steel, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Lincourt Vineyards Chardonnay, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Morgan Winery Highlands Chardonnay, Santa Cruz, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Morgan Winery Metallico Chardonnay, Monterey, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Stags Leap Winery Chardonnay, Napa Valley, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Wild Horse Chardonnay, Paso Robles, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2006 Wishing Tree Unoaked Chardonnay, South Eastern, AustraliaRATING: *
spacer.gif2005 Alma Rosa Chardonnay, El Jabali Vineyard, Santa Barbara, CARATING: ***
spacer.gif2005 Concha Y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay,
Pirque, Chile
spacer.gif2005 Dom. de la Croix Senaillet Saint Véran, Burgundy, FranceRATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Lafond Winery Chardonnay, Lafond Vineyard,
Santa Barbara, CA
spacer.gif2005 Lafond Winery SRH Chardonnay, Santa Barbara, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Pezzi King Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Sonoma, CARATING: **
spacer.gif2005 Rex Hill Unwooded Chardonnay, Oregon, USARATING: *
spacer.gif2005 J.P. st M Auvigue Saint Veran "Les Chenes", Burgundy, FranceRATING: ***
spacer.gif2004 Jean Marc Brocard Premier Cru "Montee de Tonnerre",
Chablis, France
spacer.gif2003 Flora Springs Select Cuvee Chardonnay, Napa Valley, CARATING: ***

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**** Outstanding | *** Delicious | ** Enjoyable | * Drinkable
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