ZD's 2010 California Chardonnay is a lovely tribute to the Golden State. A blend of fruit from some of the state's coolest growing regions, including Napa and Sonoma Carneros, Monterey and Santa Barbara, this chardonnay was fermented and aged in American oak barrels for added texture and spice. Bursting at the seams with stone and tropical fruit aromas, this crisp wine has a nutty, honeyed sweetness complementing the lush fruit on the palate. According to Wine Enthusiast: "The fruit stars in this tasty Chardonnay. Pineapples, pears, mangoes, green apples and Key lime pie dance on the palate. A touch of oak adds vanilla cream and buttered toast.
It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.