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Wine

Best Chardonnay

Made from a flavorful green grape that packs a punch, Chardonnay is one of the world's favorite white wines. Chardonnay grapes are grown all over the world, though they were first cultivated in the Burgundy region of France. Though they reached the peak of their popularity at the end of the 20th century, there are still more acres devoted to this Chardonnay than any other white wine grape. Though its popularity has made it unchic in some circles, there are so many ways to style Chardonnay that most people who claim to dislike it would probably appreciate at least one of its incarnations.

Since it's a relatively hardy varietal, Chardonnay can be grown in many different regions. Depending on the weather and the quality of the soil, wine made from these grapes can show flavors of apple, pineapple, ripe fruit, or vanilla. There are a number of ways to style Chardonnay wines. These wines can be aged in oak and finished with a malolactic fermentation, resulting in the big oak and butter flavors frequently seen in California chardonnays. Alternatively, they can be aged in steel, a fermentation technique that allows the green apple tartness of the grapes to shine through. In Champagne, France, Chardonnay grapes are also the only grape that can be used to make blanc de blanc Champagnes.

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Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

An incredible wine that wowed the judges at numerous competitions, Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is our favorite Chardonnay. The wine is aged half and half in oak and half in steel, making it incredibly balanced. Indeed, neither the boldness of the oak nor the tartness produced in the steel tanks dominates in this wine, giving it the ability to reach Chardonnay drinkers who like oaky wines as well as those who prefer crisp, Sauvignon Blanc style wines. The nose features stone, oyster shell, and lime, and the mouthfeel is smooth and soft thanks to the malolactic fermentation. Flavors of pear and lemon predominate, giving this wine both an acidic edge and enough fruit to balance it out. This wine really does offer the best of both worlds and is ready to drink now, without any additional time in the wine cellar.

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Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay

Though this wine enjoyed 8 months of aging in oak barrels, Hamilton Russell Vineyards Chardonnay features plenty of the crisp, clean flavors that are often overshadowed by barrel fermented chardonnays. These grapes enjoy a mild, dry climate that allows flavors to concentrate in the grapes. This wine has plenty of pear and lime flavors that are perfectly complimented by aromas of oak and stone. It's an intense, incredibly flavorful wine and one that will hold up to a few years in the cellar. In fact, this wine is not expected to reach its peak until 2024 though it's so good now that it'll be difficult to leave alone for that long.

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Cupcake Chardonnay

Over the past few years, Cupcake Vineyards has gained popularity with casual wine drinkers. Though the cute name may turn off some serious wine drinkers, Cupcake Chardonnay is not a wine to dismiss. On the contrary, this wine has a complex flavor profile with notes of spice, oak, vanilla, cream, and citrus. The malolactic fermentation gives this wine a smooth, buttery mouthfeel, and a lingering finish. Well-balanced and full-bodied, this Chardonnay is excellent now but will hold up for a couple of years in the cellar.

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La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma Coast

In order to craft a wine with the rich oaky notes most Chardonnay drinkers crave, as well as the fresh fruit flavors inherent to the grape, La Crema Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is aged partially in French oak barrels and partially in stainless steel tanks. These two wines are then blended to create a richly complex Chardonnay with lots of crisp apple and citrus, as well as candied fruit, toasted oak, and butterscotch. It has a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, and a long finish that remains perfectly smooth without an acidic bite. The flavor and bouquet of this wine remains largely unchanged from year to year and bottle to bottle, making this a great choice for a daily favorite.

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Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay

Kendall Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay is one of our Best Picks when it comes to Chardonnay for less than $20. A popular wine that's readily available at grocery stores and restaurants, this is nonetheless an excellent wine make in the oaky, buttery style preferred by most New World drinkers. It shows off aromas of citrus peel and slight sweetness, and rich flavors of vanilla, tropical fruit, and cinnamon. The finish is incredibly long and smooth, thanks to the malolactic fermentation.

Bestcovery Staff
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