Chardonnay for All!

Chardonnay can be so many different things. It is most certainly a grape that is made in the winery over the vinyard. Great Chardonnay is made all over the world in many different styles. Today we will taste through a few of these and see how different approaches and terriors make the same grape very different.

Jean-Marc Brocard Bourgogne Kimméridgien

Chablis is considered to be one of the best examples of Chardonnay in the world. They are crisp, fresh and unoaked. One of the key reasons for the chalky minerality commonly found on these wines is that the best examples of them are grown on Kimméridgien soils. Kimméridgian is alternate layers of very compact limestone, and softer clayey marls containing marine fossilized bodies. Jean-Marc Brochard lets the soil shine with minimal manipulation on this wine that has tremendous acidity.

Cooper Mountain Chardonnay

For the next wine we will travel to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Cooper Mountain also likes to let the soils and terrior show through their wines. As a result they use organic and biodynamic practices with natural yeasts. They feel just a touch of oak and an even smaller amount of malolactic fermentation is necessary to round out their Chardonnay. This wine tries to be subtle and thus is very elegant. Three vineyard sites are blended in this wine giving it a very full floral tone.

Davis Bynum Chardonnay

Where the last two wines were more about subtlety, this one is all about the power. From a much warmer part of the world, the Russian River Valley, this wine is full of tropical fruit tones. It undergoes 100% malolactic fermentation (hello buttery Chardonnay lovers) and one third of the wine sees new French oak. Baked apples pears and pineapples fill the glass with a nutty finish.