There are so many Chardonnays to explore beyond big oaky ones. I tasted around the globe for May 27’s Chardonnay Day and found some really interesting ones!
Stellenbosch, South Africa: Tokara Reserve Chardonnay 2018
White florals and pungent citrus notes. We had this with some Nigerian chicken and coconut rice – delicious! $26
Kosovo: Stone Castle 2018
Owner Rrustem Gecaj left Yugoslavia to escape Communism in the 70s, bought a formerly state-owned winery and created up a good wine rep for the region while also advancing the economy. Their Chardonnay has a pop of lime with slatey minerality and nice acidity. Can’t ask for more at this price! $8.50
Marlborough, New Zealand: Jules Taylor 2020
Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough is what put New Zealand on the wine map, so I love tasting other varietals from the region since New Zealand has so much great diversity to offer. This Chardonnay has white peach and yellow apples balanced with acidic sour cream. $23
Judean Hills, Israel: Sphera, White Concepts 2018
Sphera produces only white wines, and they seem that focus seems to pay off for them. This Chardonnay is austere and savory, with a touch of minerality. $29
Santa Lucia Highlands, CA: Hahn Estate, Lucienne Lone Oak Chardonnay 2018
Waxy and almost lush yellow apple and orange blossom, with great acidity to balance. As with many SLH Chardonnays, this was nicely restrained. $36
Rully, France: Defaix-Frères premier cru, Les Cloux 2017
A gentle and light and delicate expression of Chardonnay, from a lesser-known but better-value appellation in Burgundy. Apple blossom, white peach with a hint of lemon. $36
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