You think you know your Chardonnay?!:0)
Chardonnay, in general produces wines, which are dry to medium dry with pear, apple, tropical or citrus fruit flavors. When little to no oak aging occurs, Chardonnay tends to be more crisp and fresh. With extensive oak aging, they become creamy and buttery with vanilla, spice and oak flavors. Chardonnay is the world’s most popular white wine grape and it is grown in virtually every wine-producing region. Chardonnay thrives as the white grape of Burgundy and it produces extraordinary wines in the Russian River Valley and Carneros region in California.
Chardonnay is America’s most popular wine, and also the world’s most widely planted white wine grape.
There is no tangible way to determine what natural fruit flavors or aromas will develop in a Chardonnay. Most believe the flavors are present because of the soil and climate in which the vine grows.
Chardonnay lends itself very well to oak aging. With the influence of oak, a new flavor and aroma category is apparent. For example, vanilla, spice, smoke, toast and oak, just to name a few, would not be present if there was no oak influence. None of these categories is better than the other. It is all personal preference.