As mentioned earlier, Chardonnay is the chameleon of the wine world, adaptable to many different climates and wine making techniques. Its low acidity always makes it a fruit-forward wine, though that can mean widely different interpretations.
Here are my Top Ten Characteristics I love, that you can find in Chardonnay wines:
1) Citrus – often lemon, especially in a cool climate Chard
2) Apple – ranging from tart Granny Smith through to rounder Gala-type flavours
3) Peach – most Chards will offer this heady perfume
4) Pineapple/tropical fruit – mostly in New World styles from warmer climates
5) Melon – also common in bigger, lusher, New World styles
6) Butter and cream – if the wine has undergone malolactic fermentation
7) Walnuts – in my favorite Chard style, Chablis
8) Minerals – again, prevalent in Chablis
9) Toast and vanilla – from oaked versions
10) Yeast/Brioche – especially in Champagne, from when the wine has been allowed to sit with its spent yeast cells (the lees) for a while after fermenting
No other grape offers this range of aromas and flavours. Yet even though Chardonnay is much beloved by wine makers and consumers alike, there are still those who are adamant in despising these wines. I’ll explore this debate in a future post!