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Know your grape #2 Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a white wine grape variety that originated from Burgundy in France but now is one of the most planted varieties in the world.

It has a significantly heavier body than many other white wine grapes and is often oak aged.

The topic of Chardonnay is very vast and deep. There are many styles of this wine and simple division between oaked and unoaked is not enough.

Depending from a climate and location, the aromas can vary from a lemon, unripe pineapple, white fruits in a cooler climate (like France) to peach, ripe pineapple and honeycomb  in a warmer climate (Spain).

This grape is commonly used to produce sparkling wines like Champagne, Cava, Franciacorta.

Chardonnay is often oak aged, because wine itself tends to be quite mild, without intense flavours, so it quickly absorbs them from a wood barrel. The aromas that are present in oak aged Chardonnay are mostly vanilla and coconut. This wine often undergoes malolactic fermentation (MLF), which gives it a rich oily texture and buttery aromas. Lees aging is also very common.

This grape has one of the best food pairing capability from all the white wine grapes and personally is my favourite.

Sugested food pairings:

  • Unoaked Chardonnay – Salads, Seafood, Herbal Dishes, Light Fish
  • Oak aged Chardonnay – Chicken, Butter, Fatty Fish, White Mushrooms, Cream, Turkish bread

Chardonnay wine tastings:

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Wine tasting #2 Antonin Chardonnay of Gozo, Malta, Marsovin

A unique expearience, tasting of the the barrel fermented Chardonnay from a small Gozo island of Malta. Rare and delicious.

Wine Info:

Mediterranean expression of the most famous white grape – Chardonnay. This one was produced by Marsovin winery that has many parcels in Malta country. This producer makes also big quantity of cheaper wines but we will focus on his special product. This particular one comes from a smaller island of Gozo. The parcel is next to a beautiful beach that I visited during my trip to this country. Fermentation in barrels allows wine to oxidise in controlled enviroment. That creates more deep flavours at the expense of lighter and more floral ones. It also encourages malolactic fermentation (MLF) that lowers acidity and introduces buttery aromas. Alcohol content of 12,5%. Serve chilled. Vintage 2016.

Appeariance:

Clear wine with no sediment. Medium golden colour indicating delicate oxidation.

Smell:

Medium intensity of clear aromas reminiscent of butter, vanilia, ripe pineapple.

Taste:

Dry wine with full body, heavy on the palate. Medium acidity balances the richness of flavours. It tastes like ripe pineapple, melted butter with clear hints of fruit sweetness, citrus flavours and a little bit of bitterness at the end.

Verdict: 8,5/10

Great, multi layered wine with great consistency between aromas and flavours. I would recommend it to everyone who likes heavy, buttery chardonnay.

Pairing suggestions:

Chicken, carbonara, fat cheeses, cream sauces.

Chardonnay grape variety description

My wine tasting method

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