Chardonnay is the world’s most popular and important grape for producing white wine. Recent DNA research conducted in California concluded Chardonnay is the result of a cross between Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and Gouais Blanc.
There is a village called Chardonnay in Mâconnais in the southern portion of France's burgundy region. The name comes from 'cardonnacum' that is known as the 'place full of thistles' or “thistle covered place”.
Few other white varieties lend themselves to such a stylistic design that a chardonnay is able to obtain from a winemaker and terroir.
Unpretentious grape variety withstands well the adverse climatic conditions, and also has high resistance to various diseases.
From chardonnay it's possible to make light wine “for every day”, a rich, full-bodied wine with the potential for aging for several decades; and sparkling wine full of vigorous freshness, and a meditative sweet wine of late harvest.
Typical Chardonnay Flavors:
Unoaked and without secondary fermentation - young wine - light floral and fruity aroma with notes of spring white flowers and apples. Aged wine - bread-nut aromas.
Oaked and partial secondary fermentation - Apple-cream tonality, light vanilla, delicate spices. In wines produced in regions with a southern climate or in late-harvest wines, apera honey tones.
Aging in new American oak barrels with heavy toasting and full secondary fermentation - Creamy caramel flavor, apple tone acquires a confiture character, a nutty hue, butter.
Profanity of the Californian style of Chardonnay, with its low acidity (the result of 100% secondary fermentation) and strong aromas of vanilla (aging in heavily burnt American oak barrels) led to temporary consumer rejection.
For a while, the wine world united under the slogan ABC: "Anything But Chardonnay!". The "ABC" abbreviation were appeared on the windows of wine bars and boutiques.
However, winemakers changed their minds and in January 2010, one of the American wine bloggers proclaimed that the ABC era can be considered complete.
Freed from the "caramel-vanilla burden", chardonnay wines became again beloved and prestigious.
A versatile wine, it is suitable for the entire meal: it may accompany according to its versions both the simplest and most elaborate dishes.
The late harvest version originates complex, full-bodied white wine fermented and aged in wood. An excellent sipping wine which combines well with
cakes and nuts or with seasoned and herb cheeses.
All types of seafood from shell fish, to grilled fish is the perfect place to start. Seafood simply cooked, braised or buttered, sushi, sashimi are all great with Chardonnay.
The richness of Chardonnay copes well with lobster, crab and other fatty fishes. Chicken, veal, pork are all good pairings with Chardonnay. Due to the natural acidity in Chardonnay, it makes a perfect pairing with a wide variety of hard and soft, or even creamy cheeses as well.
You can taste different style of chardonnay during our wine tasting tours in Aosta Valley