Happy International Chardonnay Day!
Let’s face it, the world is full of Chardonnay. There isn’t a place on the globe that sells alcohol that it’s hard to find a Chardonnay.
That said, not all of them are the greatest, but to each their own, and wine is subjective, so one woman’s trashy Chard is another’s woman’s premier bottle.
Keeping that in mind, there is an upper echelon in the Chardonnay world, dictated by reviewers, scores, and honestly great fruit and winemakers. For Int’l Chard Day, we offer you our list of the most desireable Chardonnays. Although as a négociant we need to keep our sources secret to protect their business models, these would be the cream of the crop to acquire, and while we can’t say if we have before or not, there is a chance that we might have come across one of these before on our path, or maybe we haven’t, can’t say!
Let’s Start with the easier to find and more affordable options:
- Williams Selyem, Unoaked Chard, Russian River Valley
Quite possibly the greatest unoaked Chardonnay in the entire RRV.
- Grgich Hills, Estate Chardonnay, Napa Valley
The perfectly complex Chardonnay from the valley that is your next dinner’s best friend.
- Rombauer Vineyards, Chardonnay, Carneros
For most, due to the affordable nature of this sought after, quintessential California Chardonnay, this is the defining wine for “California Chardonnays” that all others are judged against.
…and then some harder to find, more pricey options:
- Kongsgaard, “The Judge” Chardonnay, Napa Valley
The truly defining California Chardonnay. The name says it all. “The Judge” isn’t a name that is used loosely, averaging 95 points, year after year, this is the California Chardonnay that all others are truly judged against.
- Gaja, “Gaia & Rey” Chardonnay, Langhe, Piemonte, Italy
Probably the last place on earth you’d be looking for great Chardonnay is Langhe, but Gaja continues to prove the worth of North Italy’s cooler climate on this classic grape in the land of Nebbiolo and truffles.
- Leeuwin Estate, “Art Series” Chardonnay, Margaret River, Australia
Long ago, Robert Mondavi went to a cattle farm in Australia and said, hey, this would be a great place for Chardonnay! Leeuwin Estate was one of the founding estates in the Margaret River area and in 1980, they topped the Decanter scores with their Chardonnay. Add to it that each label showcases an important, emerging artist commissioned from Australia, you get great wine, and with each vintage, a new window into the world of Australian art.
Finally, there is the greatest Chardonnay in the world that even The Jones’ cannot afford. Even an ounce of the wine would be roughly $315:
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Grand Cru, Montrachet, France
Roughly $8000 a bottle? Check. Aggregate score 95? Check. Heaps of praise and glowing reviews? Check. Hard to find? Check. Best Chardonnay in the world? Well, again, that is subjective, but essentially, Check.
While this is our “cork dork” list for the average human moving upwards to the Koch brothers of the world’s wallets, what is your favorite Chardonnay? Maybe it isn’t a specific bottle, but a region or country that you fancy? Feel free to use the comments section below to let us know!