The 21 Best Chardonnay You Should Drink in 2022

Chardonnay
This is our review of the 21 Best Chardonnay you should drink this year. Enjoy!

Chardonnay is the most popular white wine in the world.

Depending on the style it can be light, fresh, and crisp if unoaked or rich, buttery and full-bodied if oaked.

Have you ever found yourself staring at many Chardonnay bottles wondering which one you would like best?

After extensive research, we have picked a selection of the 21 best Chardonnay you can find in the market
 
As always we try our best to find high quality wine that offers great value for money and I must confess I’m quite happy with the research and work done. 
 
We have categorized them by regions, price point, etc.. and added an extensive buying guide on the three most famous Chardonnay styles.
 
In this way you have all you need to make an informed decision.
 
Our best value bottle selection for you is Régnard Grand Régnard Chablis 2019.
 
If you are after the best overall bottle, our recommendation is Domaine Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Morgeot’ Blanc 2018.
 
You’ll find the table of content below. Let’s start with the review!
4.5/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 2 times as much.

Region: France, Bourgogne

Tasting notes: Apple, Pear, Lychee, Cream, Honeysuckle.

We love this one and we are not the only one! This an extract from the Vivino Editor’s note:

“The Morgeot premier cru sits on the border between Côte d’Or and Saône-et-Loire regions—a Roman-era plot that sits atop a bed of chalk and limestone soils.

It’s a coveted piece of real estate, with neighbors like Louis Latour and Louis Jadot. We think this Morgeot is the cream of the crop.”

4.4/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 3 times as much.

Region: France, Chablis

Tasting notes:
Green Apples, Lemon, Apricot, Acacia

There are many great wines around, but this one offers an incredible price-quality ratio! I’d be quick if I were you…

Bright, pale-straw accented with green reflections. On the nose it is elegant and fresh with notes of green apples, lemon and apricot, it has a notable intense aroma.

On the palate it is rich, rounded and mellow. There are ample ripe lemony fruit and white peach flavors.

4.1/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 2 times as much.

Region: United States, Napa Valley

Tasting notes: Apple, Pear, Pineapple, Mango.

This delicious Chardonnay offers and incredible value for money.

Here is an extract from Vivino Editor’s note: “Inspired By France’s Best, Napa’s Pine Ridge Packs an Almost Impossible Amount of Deliciousness Into a Sub-$13 Package with This 4.1 ★ 2020 Napa White!”

What are you still waiting for???🤩

4.3/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 83% more. | Featured in Best wines between $20 and $40 right now

Region: United States, Napa Valley

Tasting notes:
Apricot, Pineapple, Butterscotch, Oak, Honey.

The heart of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars is undoubtedly the estate vineyards and extraordinary care is taken to assure that a wine’s aroma, flavor, and texture convey a sense of place. 

The goal is to create wines of classic beauty — wines with balance, complexity and harmony. 

The same classic style of the Estate wines is also expressed in the Napa Valley Collection, which consists of three wines: AVETA Sauvignon Blanc; KARIA Chardonnay and ARTEMIS Cabernet Sauvignon.

4.2/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 61% more.

Region: United States, Sonoma Coast

Tasting notes: Lemon, Pear, Apricot, Wet Stone.

Showing balanced depth and complexity, light straw to golden color, aromas unfold with layers of lemon, pear, apricot and wet stone minerality.

This vintage shows crispness on the palate, with a lush and balanced citrus finish.

4.2/5

Region: United States, Dundee Hills

Tasting notes: Apple, Pear, Butter, Oak, Toast.

These flavors carry through on the palate to display a balanced and elegant wine that delivers firm acidity, richness and persistence.

It pairs well with a vegetarian dish, rich fish dishes like salmon and tuna, and poultry dish.

4/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 63% more.

Region: France, Saint-Estèphe

Tasting notes: Pineapple, Pear, Kiwi, Oak, Butter, Chard.

Established in 1934, Chateau Ste. Michelle pioneered vinifera grape growing in Washington state.

Chateau Ste. Michelle combines an ongoing dedication to research with a commitment to classic winemaking traditions. 

This a nice example of Chardonnay Washington style. It comes relatively cheap compared to its pears as well. I’d give it a go if I were you.

4.3/5

Vivino’s tips: 2019 vintage rates better than any other year for this wine

Region: France, Sancerre

Tasting notes: Citrus, Pear, Grapefruit, Lychee, Oak, Honeysuckle.

On the nose, the wine reveals aromas of white fleshed fruit and citrus.

The generosity of the soil has resulted in a wine that is full-bodied on the palate. The fine minerality and acidity gives the wine freshness.

4.2/5

Region: France, Meursault.

Tasting notes: Lemon, Green Apple, Pear, Butter, Oak, Toast, Straw.

Intense bouquet of fruit and flowers. This wine is both subtle and very lively. Good ageing potential.

This is an extract from Vivino Editor’s note: “Meursault grown on a vineyard with the same soils as the Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru!”

4.2/5

Vivino’s tips: 90 by Wine Spectator | Featured in Best wines between $20 and $40 right now

Region: Italy, Sicilia

Tasting notes: Ripe Yellow Peaches, Acacia Honey, Marzipan.

This is one of best Chardonnay Italian style you can find, and at this price, it’s a must drink!

Starting from the richness of its deep clear golden but transparent color one imagines the pleasing contrast of creaminess and crispness in the taste.

A slight mineral suggestion combines harmoniously with the flavor of ripe yellow peaches, acacia honey and marzipan and with some peaty, cereal and toasted aromas which precede the powerful balanced finish.

4.5/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 3 times as much. 

Region: Italy, Umbria

Tasting notes: Citrus, Pineapple, Ripe Mango, Oak, Butter, Honeysuckle.

This is wine is just amazing for flavors, complexity and balance. Price wise, it’s a real bargain! Similar wines costs 3 times as much…🤩 quick, quick!
 
If you need a little extra push to be convinced, here is an extract from the Vivino Editor’s note:
 
““The Best Qualities of France and California,” According to One Fan Who Rated it 4.5 ★, Are On Full Display in an Umbrian Chardonnay Blend That Shows Just How Powerful Italian Whites Can Be… Now With 97 Points from James Suckling”.
 
3.9/5

Region: Australia, Margaret River

Tasting notes: Pineapple, White Peach, Ginger, Yeast.

It has pale straw with a green tinge. Complex perfume with vibrant fruit fragrances of pineapple, white peach and delicate fresh ginger and wild mushroom nuances beneath.

Yeast and fine oak contribute exciting layers, spicy clove and stone flint. It is bright, fresh and luscious with white peach and mushroom notes and a fine-tuned structure integrating the wine’s mouth-watering acidity.

4.1/5

Region: New Zealand, Kumeu

Tasting notes: Citrus, Peach, Grapefruit, Hazelnut, Butter, Straw.

The beautiful peach and hazelnut aromas along with the rich silky texture are distinct characteristics that we expect to see from this wine.

If you have never tried this Chardonnay style, start with this bottle and you won’t be disappointed.

4.1/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 51% more.

Region: South Africa, Stellenbosch

Tasting notes: Citrus Fruit, Green Apple, Cream, Nutty.

Vivid with a brilliant bright platinum color and pronounced green hue.

Nose with citrus fruit, green apple and cream flavors, becoming creamy & nutty with a bouquet of marzipan, halva and oatmeal. Good value for money too…

4.2/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 52% more. | 94 points by Descorchados

Region: Argentina, Mendoza

Tasting notes: Banana, Mango, Butter, Nutty, Sweet Spice.

A bright yellow – greenish color. The nose offers white stone fruits with a touch of banana and mango, notes of sweet spice and pan grille.

The mouthfeel is full and rich, but with wonderful freshness, showing ripe pear and fig flavors with a light notes of tropical fruit, delicate floral tones.

The finish is long and lingering with wonderful minerality and clean, crisp acidity.

4.2/5

Vivino’s tips: 90 points by Tim Atkin

Region: Chile, Casablanca Valley

Tasting notes: Ripe melon, Mango, Papaya, Vanilla, Butter.

Bright light yellow with subtle green notes. Floral aromas and sweet notes of fresh tropical fruit, such as mango and papaya.

If you are new to the Chardonnay Chilean style and are willing to experiment, this bottle will pleasantly surprise you!

4/5

Region: Italy, Trento

Tasting notes: Reinette Apples, Citrus Fruits, Almond, Toast

It’s quite possible you have never heard of Ferrari Perlé before. In a way, this where we bring value to you. This is a gem!

It is one of the Italian answers to Champagne, very high quality for a fraction of the price. Do you like the sound of it? Trust us on this one and you’ll discover something special!

It has straw yellow color. The perlage is extremely fine and persistent. Richness of extraordinary expressiveness.

The scene is dominated by hints of reinette apples and citrus fruits, accompanied by tones of white peach, almond blossom and toast-like notes.

4.3/5

Vivino’s tips: Great value for money. Similar wines usually cost 3 times as much.

Region: United States, Central Coast

Tasting notes: Candied Pineapple, Mandarin, Stone Fruits, Butterscotch.

This another great value for your money bottle! It has a pale-straw color and aromas of candied pineapple, mandarin, stone fruits, and butterscotch.

On the palate, vibrant fruit flavors of lemon curd, white peach compote, grilled pineapple and citrus are softened by creamy flavors of marzipan and crème brulee.

A silky texture is complimented with mouthwatering acidity and a touch of toasted oak on the finish.

4.4/5

Vivino’s tips: Ranks #4 in Best wines between $20 and $40 right now

Region: United States, Los Carneros

Tasting notes: Ripe Tropical Fruits, Fig Jam, Vanilla, Cedar.

It currently ranks #4 in Best wines between $20 and $40, seriously what do you need to know more 😋?! Just don’t wait too long, it’ll run out quickly…

Juicy peaches, pineapple and lime greet the nose, followed by vanilla and cedar. Ripe tropical fruit and fig jam flood the lush, silky palate. Soft spice, vanilla and nectarines mark the lengthy finish.

4.5/5

Vivino’s tips: Good value for money. Similar wines usually cost 66% more.

Region: France, Bourgogne

Tasting notes: Lemon, Apple, White Peach, Mineral, Honey, Jasmine.

Despite the price tag, it still offers a pretty good value for money. 

Green gold color with silvery gray reflections. The nose is chiseled, refined, with spicy and mineral notes.

The palate is rich, saline, very mineral and of a good length. A powerful wine with a strong personality.

4.6/5

Region: France, Bourgogne

Tasting notes: Exotic Fruit, Honey, Grilled Almonds, Lily, Peach Blossom

An authentic masterpiece! This wine should be regarded as the yardstick by which all other Burgundies should be judged. The color has a splendid golden sheen.

On the nose, a multitude of aromas are a pleasure to discover: floral notes of lily of the valley, peach blossom, exotic fruit, honey, grilled almonds, even exotic woods at times.

On the palate, the structure is dominated by a harmonious roundness which never imparts any heaviness. The aftertaste is exceptionally long and enhances the finesse of the whole.

A glorious symphony of sensations!

Buying Guide to Chardonnay

It’s not just about which Chardonnay you should buy. There are other important aspects like how to serve it, food pairings, and much more.

The below buying guide will give you a detailed overview on all these topics.

Unoaked Chardonnay Overview

Here you find an overview on where this Chardonnay style is most commonly planted.

Grape

Chardonnay

ABV

13.5%–14.5%

Main Regions

France: Loire Valley, Chablis
USA: California
Australia

Other Regions

USA: Oregon, New York, Washington
Chile

Grape

Chardonnay

ABV

13.5%–14.5%

Main Regions

France: Loire Valley, Chablis
USA: California
Australia

Other Regions

USA: Oregon, New York, Washington
Chile

Unoaked Chardonnay Taste Profile

These are some of the most common aromas and flavors of Unoaked Chardonnay.

Color

Pale Lemon

Nose

Honeysuckle
Lemon Zest
Peach
Green Fruit (less ripe)
Tropical Fruit (very ripe)

Palate

Chalk
Lemon Zest
Peach
Dry to Off-Dry
Medium-High Acidity
Medium-Full Body

Color

Pale Lemon

Nose

Honeysuckle
Lemon Zest
Peach
Green Fruit (less ripe)
Tropical Fruit (very ripe)

Palate

Chalk
Lemon Zest
Peach
Dry to Off-Dry
Medium-High Acidity
Medium-Full Body

Unoaked Chardonnay Food Pairing

These are some food pairing suggestions for Unoaked Chardonnay.

Appetizer

Salad
Veggie Risotto
Paté

Meat

Chicken

Fish

Shellfish
Moules Frites
Sushi

Cheese

Fresh (Goat Cheese)

Appetizer

Salad
Veggie Risotto
Paté

Meat

Chicken

Fish

Shellfish
Moules Frites
Sushi

Cheese

Fresh (Goat Cheese)

Serve and Store Unoaked Chardonnay

Here you find some useful tips on how to serve and store this Chardonnay style.

Decant

Nope

Glass

Chardonnay
Viognier

Serve at

45 - 50 °F
7 - 10 °C

Store for

2-3 years

Decant

Nope

Glass

Chardonnay
Viognier

Serve at

45 - 50 °F
7 - 10 °C

Store for

2-3 years

Unoaked Chardonnay Useful Insight

The fermentation and aging in stainless steel give crispness and brightness to the wine.

That is why unoaked Chardonnay is similar in taste to Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc but without herbaceous flavors.

When you read Chablis on the label, you’ll know it’s Chardonnay.

Chablis is a French region within Burgundy. Chardonnay produced here is generally fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks.

Oaked Chardonnay Overview

Here you find an overview on where this Chardonnay style is most commonly planted.

Grape

Chardonnay

ABV

13.5%–14.5%

Main Regions

France: Burgundy
USA: California
Australia
New Zealand

Other Regions

Italy: Puglia
Argentina

Grape

Chardonnay

ABV

13.5%–14.5%

Main Regions

France: Burgundy
USA: California
Australia
New Zealand

Other Regions

Italy: Puglia
Argentina

Oaked Chardonnay Taste Profile

These are some of the most common aromas and flavors of Oaked Chardonnay.

Color

Deep Gold

Nose

Vanilla, Butter, Spice
Apple, Pear
Citrus Fruit (Cool Climate)
Tropical Fruit (Warm Climate)

Palate

Chalk
Saline
Dry to Off-Dry
Smooth, Creamy
Medium-Low Acidity
Medium-Full Body

Color

Deep Gold

Nose

Vanilla, Butter, Spice
Apple, Pear
Citrus Fruit (Cool Climate)
Tropical Fruit (Warm Climate)

Palate

Chalk
Saline
Dry to Off-Dry
Smooth, Creamy
Medium-Low Acidity
Medium-Full Body

Oaked Chardonnay Food Pairing

These are some food pairing suggestions for Oaked Chardonnay.

Appetizer

Salad
Prosciutto Crudo
Pumpkin

Meat

Pork
Grilled Meats
Roast Chicken

Fish

Halibut
Grilled Fish
Smoked Salmon
Crab Cakes

Cheese

Cream (Brie) to Triple Cream (Brillat-Savarin)

Appetizer

Salad
Prosciutto Crudo
Pumpkin

Meat

Pork
Grilled Meats
Roast Chicken

Fish

Halibut
Grilled Fish
Smoked Salmon
Crab Cakes

Cheese

Cream (Brie) to Triple Cream (Brillat-Savarin)

Serve and Store Oaked Chardonnay

Here you find some useful tips on how to serve and store this Chardonnay style.

Decant

Nope

Glass

Chardonnay
Viognier

Serve at

50 - 55 °F
10 - 13 °C

Store for

5-7 years

Decant

Nope

Glass

Chardonnay
Viognier

Serve at

50 - 55 °F
10 - 13 °C

Store for

5-7 years

Oaked Chardonnay Useful Insight

Oaked Chardonnay is quite different in taste from Unoaked Chardonnay.

It generally is rich, rounded, creamy, full-body wine with tertiary flavors of Vanilla, butter, spice, caramel, and honey.

The tertiary flavors are from the oak aging and fermentation process.

The rounded, creamy texture is from the malolactic formation and the contact with the lees, or dead yeast which reduces wine’s acidity.

Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Overview

Here we’ll primarily focus on Blanc de Blancs which is made with 100% white grapes, and usually Chardonnay.

You will below find an overview on where this Chardonnay style is most commonly planted.

Grape

Chardonnay

ABV

10.5% - 12.5%

Main Regions

France: Champagne

Other Regions

USA: California
Italy

Grape

Chardonnay

ABV

10.5% - 12.5%

Main Regions

France: Champagne

Other Regions

USA: California
Italy

Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Taste Profile

These are some of the most common aromas and flavors of Sparkling Blanc de Blancs.

Color

Pale Lemon

Nose

Jasmine
Brioche, Toast
Apple
Lemon
Peach
Pineapple

Palate

Saline
Dry
High Acidity
Light Body

Color

Pale Lemon

Nose

Jasmine
Brioche, Toast
Apple
Lemon
Peach
Pineapple

Palate

Saline
Dry
High Acidity
Light Body

Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Food Pairing

These are some food pairing suggestions for Blanc de Blancs.

Appetizer

Salad
Hors d’Oeuvres
Nuts

Meat

Chicken
Fried Chicken

Fish

Shellfish
Grilled Fish
Fish and Chips

Cheese

Cream (Brie)

Appetizer

Salad
Hors d’Oeuvres
Nuts

Meat

Chicken
Fried Chicken

Fish

Shellfish
Grilled Fish
Fish and Chips

Cheese

Cream (Brie)

Serve and Store Sparkling Blanc de Blancs

Here you find some useful tips on how to serve and store this Chardonnay style.

Decant

Nope

Glass

Flûte

Serve at

43 - 50 °F
6 - 10 °C

Store for

10+ years

Decant

Nope

Glass

Flûte

Serve at

43 - 50 °F
6 - 10 °C

Store for

10+ years

Sparkling Blanc de Blancs Useful Insight

You’ll commonly find a sweetness level, called “dosage”, in the label that it’s needed to counterbalance the high acidity.

The “dosage”, in sweetness order, can be: Brut Nature, Extra Brut, Brut, Extra-Dry, Dry, and Doux. Brut is the most common.

Only the wine produced in the Champagne region in France can be called Champagne. The others, even if produced with the same method, must be called sparkling wine.

Malolactic fermentation is a usual process for wines made only with Chardonnay.

Out Verdict

Chardonnay is the most popular white wine in the world.

Depending on the style it can be light, fresh, and crisp if unoaked or rich, buttery and full-bodied if oaked.

If you have been through the buying guide, you should have a pretty good idea of how to navigate the Chardonnay world.
 
At the same time, you have probably realized by now, that there’s a huge selection, many styles, and various price points.
 
The good news is that you can get very high quality usually at a good price if you know where to look!
 
That’s why proper guidance comes in handy. We hope our guide was helpful in this regard.
 
Our best value bottle selection for you is Régnard Grand Régnard Chablis 2019.
 
If you are after the best overall bottle, our recommendation is Domaine Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Morgeot’ Blanc 2018.
 
As always, make sure to serve your Chardonnay at the right temperature and with the proper glass.

What to do next?

Be sure to serve your Chardonnay at the right temperature. 

Read our wine tasting guide to enhance your tasting experience and taste like the pro! 

Alternatively, why don’t you check out our guides on Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc?

FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Chardonnay.

What does Chardonnay mean?

Chardonnay” comes from the Latin world “Cardonnacum” or “wild thistle”. That’s the name the Roman gave to the area where the Chardonnay village was located.

The belief is that Chardonnay wine was named after this village.

What is Chardonnay history?

Experts agree that the Chardonnay grape was born in France in the Burgundy region.

Chardonnay is the result of a cross between Pinot Noir and Gouais blanc [1] as per a recent study from the University of California, Davis [2].

Chardonnay gained increased popularity in California from the famous Chateau Montelena’s blind tasting in Paris in 1976.

Check out the movie “Bottle Shock” [3]. Since 2000 Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape in California.

These days Chardonnay is the most widely planted white grape globally and the second most planted white grape in France, followed by Sauvignon Blanc.

Where does Chardonnay grow best?

Chardonnay’s an extremely versatile grape that grows worldwide in different climates and soil.

Chardonnay does best in clay, limestone, and chalky soil. The climate affects the tasting profile of the wine in the following ways:

  • Cool climate Chardonnay tends to be mineral with citrus flavor, high acidity, and medium body.

    Regional areas examples: France (Champagne, Burgundy), Northern Italy, US (Sonoma Coast), New Zealand.

  • Warm climate Chardonnay tends to have tropical and stone fruit ripe flavor, lower acidity, and full body.

    Like
    Sauvignon Blanc, if the over-ripening is not properly controlled it will considerably reduce aromas and acidity.

    Regional areas examples:  Southern Italy, South Australia, and South Africa.

When is the perfect time to drink Chardonnay?

Like Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, a hot summer day is perfect to enjoy an Unoaked Chardonnay: it’s refreshing, light, and easy to drink.

Is Chardonnay sweet?

Chardonnay Unoaked and Oaked can vary from dry to off dry. Sparkling Blanc de Blancs are usually dry wine.

The sweetness level of a wine is expressed in grams of sugar per liter, aka g/L, or as a percentage. 

  • A dry wine contains less than 15 g/L.
  • An off dry wine contains between 15-30 g/L.
  • A sweet wine contains between 50-100 g/L.

Learn more about wine sweetness level here.

When is the International Chardonnay day?

There is an International Chardonnay day and it’s the Friday in May.

Is Chardonnay blended with other grapes?

On top of Blanc de Blancs, Chardonnay grapes are also blended with other grapes for other Champagne styles.

These grapes are Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier [4]. Examples of sparkling wines that used Chardonnay grapes are Crémant [5] and Franciacorta [6].

Why they say that Oaked Chardonnay is "made in winery"?

The winemaking methods for Oaked Chardonnay have a great influence on its taste profile. For this reason, it is said to be “made in the winery”.

Why Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc were often mistaken for each other?

Due to their similarities in the grapevines, leaves, and clusters, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc were often mistaken for each other.

This is the reason why even these days they have many identical synonyms.

What are Chardonnay most known synonyms?

Chardonnay’s most known synonyms are Pinot Blanc Chardonnay, Pinot Chardonnay, and Feiner Weisser Burgunder.

What’s Chardonnay's typical price range?

  • Chardonnay White Wine price range is on average between $10-$50. 
    You’ll find  more expensive Chardonnay over $100 from France, Italy and the USA.

    In case you have some spare cash, there is a rare example of over $10’000 a bottle, yes $10’000, such as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru.

  • Blanc de Blancs varies in price:
    • Champagne is more expensive, you can get good quality at a price range of $30-$70.
    • Sparkling Wine is cheaper and generally in a price range of $20-$50.

Why You Can Trust Us?

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We try our best to find high quality wines that offer great value for money so that they have a light weight on your wallet as well!🤩

Finally, all the content we publish on this site has been written or overseen by wine certificate holders, which ensures a high quality content.

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