Is there wine in the world we’re talking about more than Chardonnay? It is one of the few grapes with a clever negative acronym: ABC (Everything but Chardonnay).

And yet it is at the heart of some of the greatest wines in the world (Chablis, Champagne, etc.). Let’s try one of the most popular iterations and find out.

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Tasting Challenge: California Chardonnay | One of the most famous grapes and wines can still surprise – Chardonnay.

There is no grape in the world that adapts better than Chardonnay. And there’s a reason for that: It can be grown anywhere. It is one of the most cultivated white grapes in the world.

This leads to great adaptability and a variety of different wine styles. Shouldn’t people be happy about that? Cheers! A white wine that can satisfy almost any taste!

Well, not exactly.

Tasting Challenge: California Chardonnay |

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There’s been a lot of talk about chardonnay over the last few years. Big brands use oak to create a buttery, vanilla-like taste that can hide flaws.

It’s not that people are against the oak tree as such. But the use of cheap oak or (yuck)oak flavour is also something you will see with cheap products. It is a strong element that eliminates all other flavors in the name of oil and vanilla.

And the popular belief is that California is to blame. Some of their wines are greasy and clear, and make it difficult to remember the glory of Chablis.

But to prove that the complexity and delicious sensations are still available thanks to Chardonnay, we have chosen one of the Lake County sub-regions, on the north coast, known for its similarities with Napa.

Tasting Challenge: California Chardonnay |

2018 Shannon Ridge Chardonnay

Take a look at this: Medium gold.

The smells: Notes of pineapple, apple, vanilla, jasmine, caramel, sassafras and melon.

In the palace: Pear, peach and a little buttercream. A little astringent at first, but it is softened by the subtle taste of caramelised apple at the end of the mouth.

Sorted food: I’d like to try that with apple pie. I feel like it’s a good time for him, clap by clap.

What we learned about California Chardonnay

When we think of the stereotype of Chardonnay as butter and vanilla, we realize that this is not the case.

There are notes of both, but they play with the fruity and juicy aspects: The apple is one of them. In fact, the mix of sweet and savoury has nothing to do with a caramel apple.

But there was still room for surprises. The acidity and aromas combine to create a truly unique perfume – sassafras! In fact, no kidding, there was the faint smell of root beer candy. Not very loud, but he was there.

So you can see where Chardonnay’s bad reputation comes from – even if you try the best things.

Last impressions

Chardonnay is a wine chameleon. It can take many flavors and shapes. Bubble, always. Sweet, dry. Woody, fruity.

If you are new to the world of viticulture, it is easy to pay too much attention to the rolled eyes of those who are more experienced than you when using adjectives such as unctuous.

But the key to good wine is balance. And once you’ve found the balance, there’s room for butter, vanilla and everything else.

Where did your Chardonnay come from? Almost everyone grows them, so let’s hear them from all dark corners of the world. Let us know what you try in the comments below!

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