Oenologie - Le chardonnay pour les nuls - Les Grappes

Chardonnay for dummies

"A glass of chardo please". This phrase has become commonplace, whether in a restaurant, at a friend's house or in a wine bar, as if the "chardo" were a brand, a unique wine, a drink in itself. We order a glass of chardonnay like we order a mint. This word is so ingrained in our vocabulary that we would even forget that it is a grape variety. It is indeed the 8th most planted grape variety in the world, one of the most drunk (about twenty liters per second), it is talked about in movies, books, series, everywhere. Where does it come from? How is its worldwide success explained? Let's take a look at one of the most famous grape varieties for wine lovers.

The Beaune

Like many bottled grapes, Chardonnay is a cross between two other grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc. The first being a noble black grape, the second a less noble white, they have merged perfectly in their French cradle in BurgundyThe first is a noble black grape, the second a less noble white grape, and they have merged to perfection in Chablis to produce the best white chardonnay wines in the world. In the Chablis vineyard, it was even called "Beaune", which means its Burgundian origin! It represents half of the vineyard of this region, whose soil is perfect to sublimate it, as it is the case in Champagne where it is present on a third of the vines, especially perfect on the Côte des Blancs. Chardonnay is therefore found in the bottles of all our occasions, becoming the most sold wine in the world. Thus at its peak in a cool climate and on chalky or chalky soils, Chardonnay also shows an amazing capacity of adaptation to all climates.Chardonnay has an amazing capacity to adapt to all climates, a detail that has not escaped the attention of producers around the world and has led to the success of the chardo glass.

To each his own chardonnay

"I love Chardonnay! Oh no, not Chablis! ". To this sentence also common, we would therefore want to respond that "But come on, it's the same! ". False. Chardonnay has the capacity to adapt everywhere, while revealing at best the particular expression of the soil in which it is produced. From one region to another, from one appellation to another, from one bottle to another, Chardonnays are all different. Chardonnay is used to make still, sparkling or even sweet wines and can be found throughout France: in Alsacein the Loire Valleyin the Jura (where it occupies half of the vineyard), in Savoie, in Beaujolais. So many terroirs for a multitude of expressions, its 3rd French land has no relation with Burgundy or Champagne since it is located in the Languedoc Roussillon vineyard. Yes, France may authorize more than 200 grape varieties, but Chardonnay alone represents 6% of the country's vineyards! Chardonnay is therefore an impressive plurality of aromas. Chardonnay pure and quiet for its freshness perfection when young, Chardonnay de garde for a fatness and incomparable brioche aromas, Chardonnay blended for traditional champagnes throughout the year, Chardonnay spent in the cellar for a long time.chardonnay for traditional champagnes throughout the year, chardonnay in the barrel for toasted aromas, sparkling chardonnay, sweet chardonnay, chardonnay for the table, A.O.P. CHARDONNAY, IGP chardonnay, Vin de France chardonnay, new world chardonnay. It can be drunk throughout the meal, from the aperitif to the dessert, including fish, white meat, Asian dishes, and so on. To each his own chardonnay, it is enough to choose it well.

An overflowing success

Our grape variety is found in 300 million bottles of champagne produced per year, where the price of the grape is the most expensive in the world and continues to increase year after year. A grape variety that attracts producers from all over the world because it is now planted everywhere: in Europe, its cradle, in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, and especially in the United States, which has 35,000 hectares for 150,000 hectares worldwide. And, as with any fruit, its taste varies from one place to another, to the delight of tasters. Unfortunately, this ever-increasing success necessarily pleases some producers who are greedy for very high yields at low quality, because Chardonnay today unfortunately only needs its name to sell itself.

Chardonnay is therefore not the monopoly of one perfect winemaker in particular, but of thousands! The "glass of chardo" thus ordered can be as disappointing as it is delicious. Although this grape variety has proven itself for a long time, its richness, its history, its enthusiasts, and so many other aspects deserve that we never stop tasting it, rediscovering it, exploring all its variations, in order to enrich it and always appreciate it.

To help you, here are our experts' favorite Chardonnays. Beware, these are little nuggets!

Hautes Côtes de Nuits from Château de Premeaux: We like this wine which transports us directly to Burgundy! The robe of this wine is silky and brilliant. The nose is explosive with aromas of exotic fruits and smoked lemon. In the mouth, it is a perfect marriage: a woody and buttery chardonnay with a great freshness!

Chablis from Domaine Céline and Frederic Gueguen: The perfect chardonnay par excellence. It has won several awards: DECANTER and WINE ENTHUSIAST. Its brilliant yellow color bewitches us, its fruity nose reminds us of white flesh fruits, and finally its supple mouth with a touch of acidity seduces us!

Burgundy Chardonnay from Domaine Cluny: If Alain Bashung shouted "Dare Josephine", we say it to you without concession "Dare this Chardonnay"! The robe is brilliant with green reflections. You will find aromas of white fruits on the nose and then, in the mouth, you will be surprised by its pleasant minerality.

Chardonnay from Château Guilhem : A real explosion of flavors! It is the authentic chardonnay as we like it. Aromas of white flowers and white fruits come to titillate our nose. The mouth is powerful and rich. The finish is a firework display, with a lot of freshness mixed with notes of toasted brioche.

Mélany Bachmann (wine merchant) for Les Grappes


Chardonnay from Vignerons Récoltants

Now that you know everything, let's start tasting Chardonnay! Discover our selection of wines from winegrowers !

You might like...