The Best California Chardonnay – Top Bottle Selection!

We’re going to take you on an in-depth journey as we explore the world of California Chardonnay wine selections. There are several reasons why California is a hotbed for the production of Chardonnay wine, one of the main ones being primarily due to its rather cool climate and optimal setting for the proper growing cycle of the grapes used in this particular variant of wine. One of the most popular types of wine out there is known as Chardonnay, Chardonnay is a white wine variety that comes in many different forms and options.

Like with other wines, Chardonnay grapes are grown in several different vineyards and wineries across the globe. However, one of the premier places for growing the grapes used in Chardonnay wine varieties in California largely due to the fact that California is home to a lot of different vineyards and wineries that produce Chardonnay for a lot of different brands that you see for sale today.

Chardonnay is also one of the most popular grape options in the world which is why so many companies produce fine Chardonnay options by using vineyards located in California. There are several different Chardonnay brands and options for you to choose from which gives you a nearly endless amount of options to choose from when browsing store shelves to find the right variety based on your specific tasting preferences and flavour profile.

Chardonnay is one of the wine varieties that is considered to be a creamy white wine which is mainly due to the fact that it is aged inside of oak barrels. This process infuses the wine with the round and subtle taste of the wood making contact with the fermented grape mixture. Chardonnay is also considered to be a full-bodied white wine variety that is a very great tasting. If you’re someone that is interested in tasting a Californian Chardonnay but don’t know where to begin looking, you’ve come to the right place.

Our Top California Chardonnay Wine Recommendations

There are a lot of different California Chardonnay varieties on the market for you to choose from, this makes it easy for you to find the perfect bottle of California Chardonnay that meets your specific taste and flavour preferences. Keep in mind, all of these various recommendations are made using certain types of grapes grown in various regions across the world.

You’ll want to compare what your favourite white wine currently tastes like, so you can get an accurate view of what you should be looking for in the particular California Chardonnay that you choose.

#1 Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay

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Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay is produced in Washington state and has a very light body profile overall in combination with hints of fruit, citrus, apple, and other tasty infusions. This particular California Chardonnay selection also includes notes of oak and it even has small scents of spice sprinkled throughout its mixture. For the ageing process, this wine variety is aged for six months in oak barrels where it is regularly stirred to bring out the depth in this particular mixture. This wine variety is great if you’re an individual who is looking for a nice wine that you can pair with food items such as scallops, crabs, and other sorts of seafood. This wine is also a great option to pair with things such as lemon, thyme, ginger, and more. Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay

#3 Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay

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Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay is an established brand that has been in business for 25+yrs. This particular wine selection also contains a high amount of butterscotch which adds a nice smooth flavour and overall taste to the wine. This wine is cultivated using a wide array of different grapes from several different vineyards across the country, so you can expect to get multiple hints of various flavours sprinkled throughout when drinking. This particular wine variety is aged inside of American and French oak barrels for five months which gives it a nice and smooth taste overall. Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay

#4 Heron Hill Classic Chardonnay Unoaked

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Heron Hill Classic Chardonnay Unoaked is a 19th-century wine that is known for its premium taste and rich history. This particular wine brand was crafted in 1969 in the regions of Sonoma and California’s southern Napa Valley. When drinking this wine, you will notice hints of white flower, toasted almonds, and clementine’s which add a nice overall mixture of powerful tastes that you’ll each time you open up a bottle. The grapes used in this wine variety are grown in cool climates which infuses a deeper taste and flavour profile, this wine also has toasted almonds flavouring infused in it which adds a nice overall balance. This particular wine has a very complex flavour profile that is slightly acidic and comes with a full finish. Heron Hill Classic Chardonnay Unoaked

#5 Black Stallion 2017 Chardonnay

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Black Stallion 2017 Chardonnay is considered to be a full-bodied wine selection that is infused with layers of rich apple blossom and matchstick. The wine itself has a very strong flavour of fig and pears all throughout which provides a nice fruity balance to the mixture overall. The midpalate of this wine, in particular, is very creamy in terms of texture which provides a nice rounded edge to the selection overall. This wine also has an ABV rating of about 14.5% in addition to its 175ml bottle size. Black Stallion 2017 Chardonnay

#6 De Loach 2016 Chardonnay

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De Loach 2016 Chardonnay is made using fruits of all kinds including Asian pears, ginger, apples, and more. This wine also has a very hearty style and overall texture which feels great on the tongue when drinking it, this particular wine has an ABV rating of 14.5% in addition to it coming inside of a 750ml bottle. This particular wine is a white wine variety and has a full-bodied composition which encapsulates your entire tongue when drinking. You will also find hints of anise inside of this selection which adds a nice refreshing taste to the top of the wine. De Loach 2016 Chardonnay

#7 Timbre 2016 Opening Act Chardonnay

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Timbre 2016 Opening Act Chardonnay has flavours of salty peaches, zested lemon, roasted nuts, and is grown inside of the Bien Nacido Vineyard. This wine has an ABV content of 13.5% and comes in 750ml bottle sizes in addition to being infused with subtle notes of honeysuckle and gardenia. The nose of this wine has a roasted nut flavour that is very rich and deep, you will also notice a very briskly yet clean and crisp finish on this wine variety which adds a nice overall balance. This particular wine variety also has flavours of white flowers sprinkled throughout which imputes a sharp sweet flavour to the body of this selection. The overall flavour of this wine is very clean which allows you to drink it without worrying about a nasty aftertaste in your mouth. Timbre 2016 Opening Act Chardonnay

#8 Carson Ridge 2017 Chardonnay

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Carson Ridge 2017 Chardonnay has an ABV rating of 12.5% and comes inside of a 750ml bottle. This particular wine selection also has an infusion of Asian pears, nectarines, Meyer lemon pith, honeysuckle, and more. This wine also has notes of wet stone on the nose of it which adds a nice refreshing taste to the overall body of this selection. You will also find notes of nectarines and light hints of lemon glaze throughout its entire mixture which makes this wine very light and well-balanced. There are also some notes of wet chalk flavours in this particular wine selection which make it well-rounded and clean. Carson Ridge 2017 Chardonnay

#9 LifeVine 2017 Chardonnay

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LifeVine 2017 Chardonnay is a medium-bodied well-balanced white wine variety that comes inside of a 750ml bottle. This wine has hints of green apples, lemon, floral, lime, and Anjou pears sprinkled throughout which provide you with a very clean and refreshing taste on the tongue. The overall body of this wine is well-balanced, and it has a nice medium body overall which makes it the perfect choice for those who are looking for the perfect wine to pair with other food. This wine has a nice crispy fruity flavour overall which makes it very robust and great-tasting overall. LifeVine 2017 Chardonnay 

#10 Castoro Cellars 2017 Estate Grown Chardonnay

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Castoro Cellars 2017 Estate Grown Chardonnay is a full-bodied wine selection that has rich layers of apple blossoms, fig, pears, and more. This particular wine has an ABV rating of 14.5% and comes in a bottle the size of 750ml and it has a very creamy feel overall which makes it smooth when drinking. If you’re looking for a well-rounded wine variety, this is the perfect one for you to choose from. Castoro Cellars 2017 Estate Grown Chardonnay 

Choose the California Chardonnay selection that you want based on your desired tasting preferences and the flavours you desire most. There is a particular selection out there to fit everyone’s needs and desires so you are not limited in terms of the number of options that are available to you.

Where to Buy

California Chardonnay is available in several different liquor stores and speciality retail outlets across the United States. You can find virtually any kind of California Chardonnay selection that you’re interested in by simply shopping around some of your local alcoholic stores. You can also purchase specific Chardonnay wine selections by visiting their official website if you have a certain brand or company in mind that you would like to buy from.

Now that we’ve gone over all of the places where you can buy a premium California Chardonnay variety, it’s time to take a look at a few details you will need to pay attention to when deciding on which California Chardonnay will be just right for you.

What is Californian Chardonnay?

California Chardonnay refers to a specific wine variety that is grown all over the world however, many of the best Chardonnay options are vastly considered to be those that were cultivated using grapes grown in California. This is largely due to the yearly climate which provides a conducive environment for the proper growth and sustenance of grapes needed to produce Chardonnay. California Chardonnay is produced in a wide range of different areas across the state some of the most notable including the likes of Napa Valley, Sonoma Coast, and more. You will find many different options and choices when it comes to selecting the right California Chardonnay.

Now that we’ve gone over exactly what is classified as California Chardonnay, it’s time to answer some of the most commonly asked questions that people have as it relates to California Chardonnay options.

FAQs

Q: Does Chardonnay come in a red wine variety?

A: Yes, some Chardonnay varieties are red

Q: Which Chardonnay tastes the most buttery?

A: Typically, you will find the Chardonnay with the highest butter content is aged inside of oak barrels.

Q: Is Chardonnay sweet or dry?

A: Chardonnay comes in both dry and sweet options.

How to choose the right Californian Chardonnay wine selection

If you’re new to choosing Chardonnay, there are several different factors and elements that you need to consider. Wine is a very delicate drink variety that includes a lot of subtleties and intricate elements that you must pay attention to before making your final decision when picking up a bottle. All of these variables will play an important role in determining the overall taste profile of whatever type of wine that you decide to pick up.

In the following section, we’re going to go over all of the most important factors that you need to consider before picking up a bottle off of store shelves. Make sure you read this entire section in full so that you will be able to understand what matters most as it relates to how your wine was cultivated.

Alcohol Content

Typically, Chardonnay’s with higher alcohol concentration levels will warm your throat when drinking. The alcohol content in your win is measured in terms of alcohol by volume, most wines contain about 11% to 13% however with California Chardonnay’s alcohol content can be either higher or lower all depending on the winery who produces the particular brand. In some select Chardonnay brands, you will even find they have ABV ratings that can go as high as 20%.

Tannin

Tannin is an actual compound found in the skin of grapes; they can present themselves in the winemaking process via two different ways. It can present itself in a natural form or it can be artificially added to the mixture. When the tannin is added into your wine artificially, the wine will typically have a very bitter taste to it. Tannin is also known to dry out your mouth so if you’re someone who doesn’t like the taste of bitter wine, you should opt for a choice that contains as little tannin as possible. The winemaking process involved with red wine uses more tannin content which also gives the wine a very distinct bitter and dry finish.

Sweetness

Sweetness is also another very important factor to consider when deciding on which wine variety will be best for you. Most wine selections come with a label that says “dry” “semi-sweet” or “sweet” which is something you’ll want to take into consideration before picking up a bottle. Typically, the drier a particular wine is, the less of a sweet taste you’ll notice when drinking the selection.

Body

When you hear the term “body” as it relates to wine, this is a common word used to describe the overall feeling that a particular wine gives you while drinking it. The term body can also refer to how heavy or light a particular wine variety feels on your tongue, Chardonnay wines come in all types of varieties and they range from light body selections to medium body selection, all the way up to full-bodied wine selections. Red wines also tend to have much more of a full-body when compared to white wine varieties, so this is something to keep in mind before purchasing.

Wines that are cultivated with grapes grown in warm climates also tend to have much more of a full-body when compared to other selections.

Acidity

The acidity of a wine is categorized as to how tart a particular wine tastes if you notice a very prominent tart taste in a particular wine that you choose, it usually means that it contains a high amount of acidic properties. Wines that are low in acidic content will oftentimes have richer and round texture on your tongue, so this is a great way to gauge the acidity level of any wine that you select.

California Chardonnay is generally known to be a light to medium-bodied white wine variety. It is known to have sort of a medium level acidity level which puts it right in between being tart and round. These are just some of the main factors and elements that you need to consider when choosing the right California Chardonnay selection, it’s important to consider your personal tasting preferences and desired flavour profile so that you can ensure you’re choosing the correct Chardonnay.

Conclusion

All of these various wine varieties are made using premium grape selections and have varying tastes or flavour profiles which will give you a delicious and unique sensation on the tongue when drinking. By using this guide as an informative manual to help you choose the right California Chardonnay selection, you won’t have to worry about wasting money on a bottle of wine that doesn’t meet your desired flavour preferences or tasting needs.

Take all of the tips and information that we’ve included in this guide to make an educated decision about whether or not California Chardonnay is the right type of wine for your desired needs. As long as you consider what your personal taste preferences are, you should have no problem finding the right bottle of California Chardonnay to meet your desired flavour profile and tasting needs.

Ben Holt

Ben practiced as a "Wine connoisseur" in the restaurant industry for over 2 years. He suggested, tested and educated diners on which wine would best fit their meal. Ben is also a freelance writer with over 4 years of experience. He now shares his insights on wine and wine accessories for those looking to take their love of this amazing beverage to the next level!

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