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Chardonnay

CHARDONNAY
 
"The world greatest white grape variety"
 
The great success, which the variety enjoys, is because of its unique ability to lend its self to many environments and styles of winemaking.
  

Synonyms; Arnaison, Aubainne, Beaunois, Epinette blanche, Feiner Weisser Burgunder, Melon blanc, Melon d'arbois, Muscadet, Petite Sainte-Marie, Weisser Clevner.



Characteristics

The vine has large thin leaves.  It has small to medium small clusters, which are cylindrical and often shouldered or winged. The bunches are not so tight as other varieties, allowing air movement and reducing the risk of rot.
 
The early budbreak makes spring frost a danger but early maturity makes it a good choice for areas with shorter growing seasons. The berries are small spherical and normally have one seed. The skin is tough and translucent, the color is dark green when shaded becoming amber when exposed to the sun.
 
The wines produced from this variety tend to be rich in flavor and full bodied, some of the aroma characteristics attributed to it are apple, lemon, grapefruit, floral, fig, melon, citrus, stone fruit- peach, apricot, nectarine.

With oak aging it can pick up honeyed, toasty, pineapple characteristics and with malolactic fermentation a rich and buttery flavor and aroma. In Chablis, it tends to have what is described as a mineral aroma.


Food Recommendations

According to the style in which the Chardonnay is made will effect your choice in matching it with food. The key to the perfect marriage is to check how much oak influence the wine has. In general crisp styles from cooler climates go well with shellfish like scallop and crustaceans. Fuller styles go well even with tuna and pork loin. Sautéed food with butter is a good match with good oak aged Chardonnay.


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