If Cabernet is the king of red wines, then Chardonnay is the queen of the whites. It is grown in virtually every commercial wine making area. Once erroneously thought to be a member of the Pinot family, this classic variety is responsible for producing the greatest white Burgundies and is one of the three major grape types used in the production of Champagne and is very important in California sparkling wines. California chardonnay's show wonderful fruit flavors ranging from tropical to Citrus. Classic Burgundies show more mineral flavors. Australian chardonnay's can be very lush. All chardonnay seems to benefit from aging in oak, giving them vanilla, and butterscotch layers. Sparkling wines made with Chardonnay tend to drink "cleaner", less fruit than those made with Pinot Noir. Chardonnay sparkling wines tend to show more of the other flavors of vinification such as a yeasty flavor and texture.
Synonyms: Arnaison, Aubaine, Beaunois, Chasselas, Epinette blanche, Feiner weisser burgunder, Melon blanc, Melon d'arbois, Muscadet, Petite sainte-marie, Pinot blanc, Pinot blanc chardonnay, Pinot chardonnay, Weisser clevner