Wine grapes: Chardonnay
Its name comes from a village in the Mâcon region.
Both the Burgundy and Champagne regions claim the origin of the Chardonnay grape. The oldest evidence tends to give the advantage to the latter, where there is evdeince of the white grape since the beginnings of the Christian era. And since no other white grape variety was mentioned until the 17th century invention of Champagne's renowned sparkling wine, some believe that the grape must have been Chardonnay. However for several centuries it has been the only grape used to make white Burgundy. The debate is still open.
Chardonnay is a vigorous vine that adapts easily to varying climatic conditions around the world. Chardonnay is the best known white grape variety. In Champagne, when vinified on its own, it produces Blanc de Blancs.
The Chardonnary grape is shiny and golden. Often confused with Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay is distinguished by the shape of its leaf. Fairly bright pale green, at maturity the leaf has small "blisters." Its three lobes are not very deeply engraved and the edges curl. The cylindrical bunch possesses two wings. Its amber yellow grapes are spherical or slightly elongated.
It produces well-structured, refined, traditionally dry wines, among the finest whites in the world. Depending on their origin, they can keep for several years.
Wine and aromas
Apple, lime blossom, almond
As a still wine, Chardonnay is characterized by good balance of "fatness" and acidity. You will often notice notes of pineapple and citrus but the palette may be much richer, from lime flower to white fruit with buttery or honey notes.
Chardonnay pairs well with fish and shellfish as well as meat: ham, poultry or sweetbreads.
Chablis, Meursault, Montrachet, Pouilly-Fuissé, Anjou, Saumur, etc
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