Chardonnay is by far one of the most popular white wines in the world; second only to Airen grape which is primarily used for making brandy. Chardonnay is also the most versatile; ranging from rich and creamy oaked style, to a light and zesty unoaked wine, to a primary grape in all of your favorite sparkling wines.
With all grapes, there are many regional differences in the aromas, flavors, and wine making styles. Those from Southern Australia, like our very own Warrior Chardonnay, are endowed with flavors of pineapple and apples. Those from Burgundy, Oregon, and New Zealand have a more starfruit flavor. This has to do with being grown in different climate and soil types.
Many of us are fond of full buttery Chardonnays. While the flavors of cedar, butter, and spices come from being aged in oak, the rich creamy mouthfeel you get is from going through malolactic fermentation. Malolactic fermentation is a process that is common practice in red wines but is also done on select white wines. Tart malic acid is converted to a creamy lactic acid (found in milk) by a harmless bacteria.
For those who like a light and zesty white, a “Porch Pounder”, you can find these styles in Chablis and western Australia. Flavors of yellow apple, lemon zest, and chalk will give you the perfect afternoon buzz.
On to our favorite bubbly…Blanc de Blancs. This is sparkling wine made from 100% Chardonnay. While sparkling wine can be made from any grape, it is traditionally made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A Blanc de Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir.
What’s your favorite Chardonnay style?