Known by many wine people as a “king of white grapes“, Chardonnay has probably became the only grape in the world which nowadays grows almost everywhere. Originating in Burgundy, where it produces mineral-tasting Chablis and complex mouthfilling Montrachet, during the XX century Chardonnay spread around all the wine regions of the World. There are two reasons for the popularity of this grape: first of all, it adapts well to a wide variety of climates and soils, from cool and chalky Champagne to the hot and volcanically formed Californian Central Valley; the second being that the name Chardonnay on a wine label of late, appeared to be an infallible salestool. All around the globe wines made of this variety are great and impressive if given an appropriate commitment during all production cycles.
Chardonnay is better suited than any other white grape to vinification and maturation in barrels, therefore many of the world’s Chardonnay grapes receive oak treatment before bottling. Some wine drinkers confuse toasty, smoky, vanilla-like flavours of oak with a flavour of Chardonnay. Chardonnay itself may have fruit aromas and flavours that range from apple and pear in cooler areas to tropical fruits in warmer wine regions. It can also develop some subtle earthy aromas like minerals or mushrooms. Its varietal wines are generally full-bodied with a level of acidity from medium to high. However, it would be fair to add, that generally Chardonnay doesn't have a particularly well defined varietal character, more often reflecting its terrior and a winemaker’s style than most other grapes.
In Italian winemaking history Chardonnay was mostly used as a blending grape. On the Tuscan coast it can be found in several appellations blended together with Vermentino, Viognier, Trebbiano, Sauvignon Blanc and others. Some of the estates produce monovarietal wines labelling them as IGT.
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