The queen of grapes originated in Burgundy, but now grows everywhere that grapes are cultivated for wine. We celebrate International Chardonnay Day on 26 May by first looking at how the grape is faring in the New World, where it has found new fame and new styles.
In California and Oregon, specifically Willamette Valley, Chardonnay thrives at every price point. Its success derives from the intensity of Chardonnay's expressions here - from fuller styles to experiments with oak (from new oak to lesser or even no oak).
Hyde de Villaine Chardonnay 2018
AG 94: The 2018 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard is a classy, polished wine. Silky and creamy, with gorgeous texture, the Hyde shows all of the richness this site is known for yet retains terrific energy and verve as well. Bright floral and mineral accents perk up the pear, lemon confit and light tropical fruit.
Discover more wines from HdV here.
St Innocent Freedom Hill Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
Food and Wine Magazine Apr ‘22: Oregon winemaker Mark Vlossak is justifiably acclaimed for his impressive single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, and his touch with Chardonnay is no less fine. This flinty-creamy white with its layered citrus flavours is proof.
Discover more wines from St Innocent Winery here.
In New Zealand, Chardonnay may not be as well-known as Sauvignon Blanc, but you're in for a surprise, It was once the most planted white grape in New Zealand, and today, there is a re-discovery of its fragrance, fruitiness and complexity when grown in areas like Hawkes Bay.
Te Mata Hawkes Bay Elston Chardonnay 2019
Winemaker notes: A brilliant white-gold in the glass, Elston Chardonnay ’19 has the immediate aroma of fresh golden nectarines, passionfruit and grilled pineapple. Lush, ripe acid drives the wine's length and balance, bringing the mouthfeel from ripe sweet lemon and white peach, to crème brûlée, roasted cashew, popcorn, to mineral tones and flint. As complex fruit becomes savoury in the long finish, the liveliness of Elston Chardonnay ’19 gives way to elegance.
Discover more wines from Te Mata here.
Chardonnay, or Chardy as the laidback Aussies call it, is popular across all its regions, but it tends to perform best when coming from moderate or cool regions such as Margaret River.
Amelia Park Reserve Chardonnay 2017
JS 93: This shows the prowess and power of the region. Citrus meets peach and grapefruit aromas with savory mealy oak in behind. The palate has an energetic core of tangy, bold peach flavor. The acidity holds long. Drink or hold.
Discover more wines from Amelia Park here.
It may seem a long way to travel to find Chardonnay in Chile, but your search will pay off with some of Chile's superb range of styles from its many terroirs. Check out Colchagua where the microclimate provides for ideal ripening while being just 25 miles from the moderating influences of the sea.
Los Vascos Chardonnay 2020
Winemaker notes: Beautiful pale bright yellow. The nose offers the distinctive pineapple, peach, and banana scents of this variety, as well as notes of pear, grapefruit, and elegant floral aromas. Rich, creamy texture, good length, and excellent acidity. Best served cold between 10º and 12ºC.
Discover more wines from Los Vascos here.