CHARDONNAY - Maurice Wine Cru

Originated in Burgundy, no one knows exact origin. There is a
village in the Macon named Chardonnay, but it was probably
named after the grape.
Chardonnay is also known by the names Aubaine, Beaunois,
Melon Blanc, and historically, Pinot Chardonnay.
Did not take over Burgundy as large scale production until
mid-19th century
Adaptable in climate, soil, and methods of winemaking
Easy to Cultivate, can produce high yields without loosing
The MAC of grapes: Less susceptible to viruses and funguses
Can be manipulated by the winemaker to produce different
Characteristics: E.F.G. = EXPANSIVE, FRUITY & GOLDEN
Can make good wine in cool or warm climate; prefers cool
Flavors: Buttery, Creamy, Nutty, Smoky, & Steely
Fruits: Appley, Lemon, Melon & Pineapple
Texture: Lush, Full Bodied and Creamy
When aged in oak it adds rich note, creamier, longer finish &
more complexity
Too much oak can be diffused, flabby and over the top
Oak should be used to season the wine, not mask the flavor
– Champagne
• Brut Champagne can be made with
Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, And Pinot Noir
• Blanc de blanc = 100% Chardonnay
– Tend to be light, and lively wines. Great for
– Chablis
• Very cold area: 2 ways of fighting cold,
– 1. spray wines with Water to create an igloo
– 2. heat vines with oil heaters.
• Stone Basin From the Jura to Kimmeridge,
England: Chalky, clay, oyster fossils
soil…kimmeridge limestone.
• Many methods of aging; use “feullate” (small
barrels), barriques and Stainless steel.
• Characteristics: Green-yellow sparkle, flinty
nose, acidity and body, minerality
• Shellfish wine, a must with oysters,
especially steel barrel fermented
– Cote de Nuits
• Known for reds: PINOT NOIR
– Cote de Buene
Reign of chardonnay
ECO-WINES: Domaine Leflaive led the pack on producing
biodynamic wines
– It’s all about the soil: TERRIOR
– Other regions are producing young ready to drink
wines, Burgundy produces wines to show the
– If we don’t take care of the soil then there won’t be
2 GRAND CRUS Corton & Montarchet
– Corton-Charlemagne in the Northern Buene
» Chalky soils with subsoil of volcanic
» Concentrated, mineral whites with rigid
– Montrachet (bare mountain) in the south
» Meager soil, limestone and ideal
» Flooded with light and allows Chardonnay
to mature fully and evenly
Puligny Montrachet: Mineral, elegant wines, w/ nerve and
Chassange-Montrachet: Broader than Puligny
Mersault: Rich and smooth, pear quality, w/ strong wood
St. Aubin: Fruity, elegant and nervy
– Maconnaise – Pouilly-Fuisse
Has more sun the rest of burgundy
Limestone rock formations “Solutre”
Starting to make wines of high quality however there are
still a lot of ofoverprice3d bad wines.
Have that limestone minerality, hints of honey, crisp fruits
Chardonnay in California
1st brought to Cali by J.H. Drummond in 1880
When it arrived in Livermore Wente took chardonnay
to the next level. In 1938 it was the 1st “pinot
chardonnay” to receive acclaim.
1953 D Zellerbach planted Chardonnay in Hanzell
Vineyards and fermented in small barrique barrels. He
showed that a Burgundian style could be made in
California. He inspired many winemakers to take on
that style
In 1976 Mike Grgich with Chateau Montelena won the
Paris tasting and surged it’s popularity
Chardonnay became the FAD, 1990 there was a total
of 170,000 tons and in 1997 500,ooo tons were
The best Chardonnays are made of clones from cooler
There are about 1,000 producers of chardonnay the
majority are clumsy, buttered toast and high alcohol
ACIDS & Fermentation
Acid is measured by pH levels. Distilled water is a pH
7. Anything lower indicates acid. California wine runs
at about pH 3.0-3.5.
Addition of tartaric acid raises the pH levels
Problem in early California history was the formation of
acetic acid which would make wine taste like vinegar.
This was solved by adding sulfur dioxide.
There is a tendency for wine to take on a second
fermentation where Malic acid turns into lactic acids. In
the early days the process was not understood too well
and many wines spoiled in the bottles.
Malo-lactic Fermentation: the addition of yeast to turn
malic (tart) acids into lactic (soft) acids. Most popular in
red wines to lower acid levels. In California became a
trend to do with Chardonnay where it lowered the
inherent fruit flavors of Chardonnay and create a more
buttery and softer texture.
Cabernet Country but still make stellar
Some of the best Chardonnays: Chateau
Montelena,Grgich Hills, Patz and Hall and
Characteristics: Appley, tropical, toasty vanilla
tones, balanced acidity good depth
Some of the best Chardonnays come from
Carneros, Russian River and Alexander valley
Cooler climate region which allows the
Chardonnay to show it’s acidity
Some of the top producers are: Kistler, Rochioli,
Hanzel and Landmark
Characteristics of citrus, apples, pears, muscat
& bright acidity
Central Coast
Most common appellations for Chardonnay are
Monterey, chalone, and Santa Maria
Cool climate and Limestone soils give Burgundy
a run for it’s money
Top Producers: Morgan, Chalone vineyards, Mt.
Eden, Byron, Talbot & Mer Soliel
Characteristics: Green apple, pears, citrus and
toasty notes
New Zealand & Australia
New Zealand
Chardonnay was introduced into New Zealand in the 1830s although the variety disappeared due to
phylloxera later that century. Chardonnay re-appeared in commercial quantities in the early 1970s
Styles vary from intensely flavored, refreshing unwooded whites to more complex and richer Burgundian
styles from oak barrels
Cool and steady climate allows grapes to mature slowly and show off natural acidity
Auckland and Northland, New Zealand's warmest regions, tend to make rich, ripe and broad-flavored Chardonnay
Gisborne "Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand", are typically soft, lush and charming with ripe peach, melon and
pineapple flavors.
Hawkes Bay, the second largest producer of Chardonnay, has a wide range of soil structures and meso-climates that tend
to make a very concentrated wine with peach and grapefruit flavors.
Wellington region also has good concentration with a mix of citrus together with both orange and white-fleshed peach
Nelson regularly makes fine, elegant Chardonnay styles, the best of which exhibit rich hazelnut and citrus flavors.
Marlborough, the country's largest producer of Chardonnay, typically produces zesty wines with good acidity and strong
white peach and grapefruit/citrus flavors.
Canterbury makes a variety of styles, many of which have an impressive concentration of grapefruit flavors and crisp
Central Otago produce fine examples of Chardonnay, many of which have an appealing flinty influence.
Top Producers: Cloudy Bay, Te Awa and Kumeu river
1st Chardonnay was made in Hunters Valley by Tyrell in 1971 it was called “Vat 47 Pinot Chardonnay”
Became a fad in Australia a 500% increase in Chardonnay production between 1986-1996.
Grapes of Australia are grown un the coolest regions of a hot continent; whereas in Europe they are grown
in the cooler regions of a colder continent
Warmer Climate makes full flavor of tropical fruit, rich and thick chardonnays
In later years they started blending chardonnays from cooler regions and fermenting in barrels which has led
to more complex and elegant wines
Leeuwin Estates “Artist Series”, Wolf Blass Gold Label, and Lindeman’s bin 65 ( at an affordable price)
Paris Wine Tasting of 1976 or the
Judgment of Paris (a pun referring to
a mythical contest).
Hosted by English Wine merchant, Steven Spurrier,
to show the superiority of French wine.
A jury of 9 French renounced wine tasters conducted
a blind tasting.
• 1 United States - Chateau Montelena 1973
• 2 France - Meursault Charmes Roulot 1973
• 3 United States - Chalone Vineyard 1974
• 4 United States - Spring Mountain Vineyard
• 6 United States - Freemark Abbey Winery
• 5 France - Beaune Clos des Mouches Joseph
Drouhin 1973
• 7 France - Batard-Montrachet RamonetPrudhon 1973
• 8 France - Puligny-Montrachet Les Pucelles
Domaine Leflaive 1972
• 9 United States - Veedercrest Vineyards
• 10 United States - David Bruce Winery 1973
Contest was said to be rigged so that French would
win, however results showed California ahead
It was a monumental event, which showed that the
French were not the only ones capable of producing
great wines
The Great Chardonnay Showdown, held in the
spring of 1980, was organized by the wine
columnist for the Chicago Tribune newspaper with
help from three Chicago wine stores.
A total of 221 Chardonnays from around the
world were selected for the blind wine
– The winning wine was the Grigch Hills
Sonoma County Chardonnay 1977, which
was the new winery's very first vintage. It was
declared the best Chardonnay in the world.
Blind Tasting and Rating
Fruit Aromatics
Is the alcohol sensed in the nose? Is it apparent in the mouth? If so does it leave the tongue
with overwhelming heat or is it cooling and refreshing well integrated with the wine
Is the acidity in balance with the fruit, or is overwhelming; is it clean and mouthwatering or
tart and vinegar-like
If there is oak, does it enhance the wine or does it dominate the wine, was the oak in the
nose? Did it carry through into mouth? Is it noticeable, overwhelming or well integrated
Does the wine have weight, is it creamy, or lush, is it full body?
Oak integration
Does the palate match the fruit from nose, is it enhanced with other fruits or is it lost
Is there a sense of minerals, oak, herbs or flowers. Make note of alcohol and oak notes
Taste fruit
Is the fruit up front bright, is it apply/pear/tropical. Or is it masked by other aromas
Secondary Aromatics
Is the color bright, golden, does it look like a chardonnay. Make notes of alcohol level
Does the wine fill your palate and linger or does it die off rapidly
Roundness (UNAMI)
What is the overall feeling of the wine, does it burst in the mouth, is it pleasing is it well
Our Chardonnays by Appellation
Argyle Williamatte Valley '04
Chateau Ste. Michelle "Indian Wells" Columbia Valley WA '05
Gold South Australia '06
Wolf Blass"Gold Label" Adelaide Hills, AU '04
New Zealand
Cloudy Bay Marlborough New Zealand '05
Chablis Domaine Louis Moreau Burgundy '04
Chassange-Montrachet Ramanet Burgundy '03
Mersault-Blagny Louis Latour Burgundy '02/'03
Pouilly-Fuisse Louis Latour Burgundy '04
Puligny-Montrachet Louis Latour "Folatiers 1er cru" Burgundy '03
Central Coast
Bernardus Monterey '04
Carpe Diem "Firepeak" Edna Valley '04
Edna Valley Paragon Vineyard Monterey '05
Fallbrook "Sleepy Hollow" Monterey '03
Mer Soliel Monterey '04
Morgan "Highland" Monterey '05
Sanford Santa Rita Hills '03
Summerland Santa Barbara '05
Taz Santa Barbara '05
Villa Mt Eden "Grand Reserve" Santa Maria '05
Acacia Carneros '05
Beringer Private Reserve Napa '04
David Arthur Reserve Napa '99
Far Niente Napa '03/04
Franciscan Cuvee Sauvage Napa '04
Grgich Hills Napa '03
Groth Vineyards Napa '05
Jarvis Unfiltered Napa '04
Newton Unfiltered Napa '04
Patz and Hall "Hyde Vineyard" Carneros/Napa '04
Ramey "Hyde Vineyard" Carneros/Napa '04
Stags' Leap Napa '05
ZD California '05
Bannister Rochioli-Allen Russian River '03
Belvedere Russian River '04
Chalk Hill Estate Sonoma ’03
Chateau Souverain Alexander Valley '05
Chateau St Jean "Robert Young" Alexander Valley '04
Clos Du Bois Reserve Russian River '04
Domaine Chandon Carneros '04
Dunah "Tre Cuvee" Sonoma Coast '03
Ferrari Carano Alexander Valley '04
Jordan Sonoma '04
Kistler "les Noisetiers" Russian River '04
Rochiloli Russian River '05
Rodney Strong "Chalk Hill" Sonoma '04
Simi Reserve Russian River '03
Stulhmuler Alexander Valley '04
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