Chardonnay Wine 101 – Top $$$, Judgement of Paris, Best Wineries

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Episode #10 of Julien’s Wine School where Julien explains some interesting and detailed facts about Chardonnay wines, the top producing countries, most expensive Chardonnays in the world, the 1976 Judgement of Paris, and more…

Watch Part 1 of the Top 10 Facts Chardonnay Wine Guide:

Read more about Chardonnay aromas and flavor profiles on my blog Social Vignerons including a simple yet detailed infographic chart:

Check out Episode #8 where I looked at the color of wines:

Also, see Julien’s Wine School Episode 1 where I discuss why it is important to observe the appearance (sight) of you vino before tasting:

Top advanced facts about Chardonnay, explained:
This is Episode #11 of Julien’s Wine School, and today we’re looking at the Top 5 Advanced-Facts you should know about Chardonnay, so with yesterday’s video, the Top 5 basic facts you should ABSOLUTELY know about the most famous white wine, well… you’ve got here a nice Top 10 interesting things about Chardonnay.
But let’s jump right into today’s 5 detailed facts about Chardy. Let’s go

1.Top White Wine in the World
The Chardonnay grape is the most planted white wine grape variety worldwide. Although it’s the 8th most planted grape variety, and as a white grape, it comes as the 4th most planted in the world.
But the top 3 white grapes, if #1 Sultanina which is a table grape used for making raisins, then Ugni Blanc which is used to make brandy especially in France like in Cognac and Armagnac, and Airen which is used is Spain to make Brandy Like Jerez Brandy (Or Sherry Brand) so Chardonnay IS the most planted white grape used to make actual wine.

2.The Nations of Chardonnay
The top 3 Chardonnay-producing countries are France #1, of course, but very closely followed by the United States which have virtually just as much Chardonnay planted than France
then Australia. But Chardonnay is planted virtually in every wine-producing country, the Top 10 Chardonnay-making nations also including, by descending order of vineyard surface area: Italy, Chile, South Africa, Spain, Argentina, Moldova and New Zealand.
Fun fact: In the early 1940s there were fewer than 100 acres of Chardonnay grapes grown in California. Now there are more than 100,000 acres.

3. More Chardonnay is produced in Burgundy than Pinot Noir.
When we think Burgundy, we often think of red Pinot noir wines, perhaps because Burgundy is also the name of a color, the wine shade of red.
But in fact, Chardonnay represents about 60% of Burgundy’s wine output, compared to only about 30% for Pinot noir.

4.Some of the most expensive wines in the world
Of course, being the most planted white grape, there’s a lot of cheap, tasteless or ordinary Chardonnays out there down the shelves of every supermarket around the globe.
But don’t forget that Chardonnay also makes some of the most expensive wines in the world, with the top 5 most expensive Chardonnays ranging from $4000 a bottle to over $11000 a flask!.
Those are all Burgundy Grand Crus and include: Domaine Leflaive Montrachet, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet, Leroy Domaine d’Auvenay Chevalier-Montrachet, Coche-Dury Corton-Charlemagne, and Domaine Leroy Corton-Charlemagne
As for high-end 100% Chardonnay Champagnes, Krug’s Clos du Mesnil, a rare single vineyard, retails around $1200.
In the US, one of the most expensive Chardonnays is Marcassin Estate’s, which retails around $400.

5. The 1976 Judgment of Paris
Most remember mainly, from this historic event that “changed the wine landscape forever”, the results of the confrontation between the Napa Valley reds against Bordeaux.
But Stephen Spurrier’s Judgement of Paris tasting also included white wines made from Chardonnay in France versus California Chardonnays.
There were 6 Cali Chards contenders and 4 white Burgundies in the blind tasting lineup.
The 6 California Chardonnays came from what are now famous classic estates such Chalone Vineyard, Freemark Abbey, Veedercrest Vineyards, the David Bruce Winery or Spring Mountain Vineyard.
The 4 French white Burgundies were: Domaine Roulot, Maison Joseph Drouhin, Domaine Ramonet-Prudhon and Domaine Leflaive.
Of course, the winning Chardonnay was 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay (as was made famous by the Hollywood movie ‘Bottle Shock’) with the runner-up being the French 1973 Meursault Charmes Roulot.

Chardonnay wine prices as mentionned in the video from:

See you soon again in the wonderful world of wine.


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