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Nighthawk Gold Buttery Chardonnay

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Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay

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Produced by Duckhorn Vineyards, this Napa Valley Chardonnay sings with melodies of creamy lemon meringue and stone fruit nuances. On the nose, the wine smells of sweet baked breads, while citrus and peach flavors emerge on the silky palate. Fresh acidity brings it all together for a buttery smooth and long finish.

How Chardonnay Gets Its Diversity Of Flavors

One of the beauties of Chardonnay is that its not hard to grow, and it will mirror its terroir, the environment the wine is produced in.

The grape can thrive in cool climate regions from France to Oregon, where it displays more pronounced acidity. Chardonnay also grows in warmer areas like California, South Africa, or South Australia, where it ripens faster and shows more of the fruits natural sweetness. Volcanic, chalky, limestone soils? Higher chance that the grapes will exude mineral characteristics.

There are also dozens of Chardonnay clones, each yielding different flavor profiles. Thats one reason its possible to find lush tropical examples alongside crisp, minerally Chardonnays.

Chardonnay clones are like apples. There are tart green apples. Theres Fuji. Theres Red Delicious. Theyre all apples, but they dont necessarily taste the same, says Sarah Quider, head winemaker for Foley Family Wines, which produces labels like Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery, Chalk Hill Estates, and Sebastiani Vineyards and Winery. Chardonnay is the same in that there are clones of Chardonnay grapes that when you taste them, if the fruit tastes floral, the wine tends to be floral. Same with notes like lemon, citrus, stone fruit.

With so many winemaking options to consider, theres likely a style of Chardonnay that can accommodate any type of palate.

Elyse Sonoma County Chardonnay

Take one whiff of this Sonoma County Chardonnay made by Elyse Winery and youll be greeted with ample aromas of sweet and toasty apple pie. The mouth is rich and full of orchard and stone fruit nuances supported by crisp acidity. The finish is long and inviting with notes of warm vanilla and a hint of oak.

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Where Does Chardonnay Come From

Chardonnay hails from the French region Burgundy, where some of the worlds most sought out and costly bottles of the wine can be found. A green-skinned grape, Chardonnay is the darling white wine of the most prestigious regions of Burgundy, including areas in Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune. Its also found in Champagne, where it is used to make sparkling wines.

It made its American debut in 1882, when Charles Wetmore, Californias first agriculture commissioner, brought cuttings to California from Frances Meursault. Nearly 100 years later, California Chardonnay proved itself when it beat its Burgundy cousins in the seminal 1976 blind tasting now known as the Judgment of Paris.

To no ones surprise, Californias victory resulted in increased consumer demand for Chardonnay throughout the 1980s. That ultimately led to an uptick in plantings across the state, including at some wineries that werent so focused on quality.

Why Chardonnay Is A Popular Category

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Chardonnay is the most planted variety in the U.S. When it comes to sales figures, Cabernet Sauvignon was the number one wine in volume and value in 2020, with $3.2 billion in sales compared to Chardonnays $2.8 billion, according to Nielsen data.

Its a versatile grape with many expressions, from peach and apricot flavors, to wines with tropical flavors. It can be oaked or unoaked, and can be made in styles from simple to rich and complex. Today, many of the bottles on store shelves are much leaner than the rich and oaky Chardonnays of the past. And yet, there are still plenty of wines to be found that offer more than a hint of movie theater popcorn.

I love buttery Chards these days, says Jason Ostrander, a fitness trainer living in New York City. Its nostalgic to the taste that got me into wine in the first place. I had it at a country club in Michigan where I worked and could actually taste fruits and vanilla.

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La Crema Winery Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

If you like your Chardonnay well layered, with fragrances of florals and butterscotch, citrus flavors, and a light touch of oak, then La Cremas Chardonnay is the one for you. Produced from grapes grown in the Sonoma Coast AVA, the wine spends seven months barreled in French, American, and new oak before its bottled and ready to go.

Chalk Hill Estate Chalk Hill Ava Chardonnay

This wine, made in Sonomas Chalk Hill appellation, has both fruity aromas of crisp apple and orange blossoms as well as fragrances of vanilla and toasted marshmallow. Its creamy and rich on the palate, a product of the malolactic fermentation and the 11 months spent in French and new oak barrels.

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Bota Box Nv Nighthawk Gold Chardonnay

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Aromas of butter, toast and sawn oak lead to baking-spice flavors and a very rich, indulgent mouthfeel in this intentionally oaky wine. Jim Gordon

  • rating

All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5-8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide contextvintage, variety or appellationbut never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.

Ratings reflect what our editors felt about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompanying tasting note to learn about a products special characteristics.

Daou Vineyards Paso Robles Chardonnay

Wine Review: Menage a Trois GOLD Chardonnay

DAOU Vineyards makes this wine from Chardonnay grapes grown on its estate in Paso Robles. The wine is vibrant with pronounced aromas of pineapple and green apple that spill out of the bottle. On the palate, the wine is dense and rich with floral and spicy essences of jasmine, nutmeg, and vanilla bean balanced with peach and mango. The finish is long, lush, and mouth-filling with hints of zesty lemon and hazelnut.

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Bota Box 2018 Nighthawk Gold Chardonnay

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An intense smoky aroma and equally dramatic charred oak flavors dress up this rich-textured, full-bodied wine. Butter and vanilla accents emerge and linger on the palate. Jim Gordon

  • rating

All tastings reported in the Buying Guide are performed blind. Typically, products are tasted in peer-group flights of from 5-8 samples. Reviewers may know general information about a flight to provide contextvintage, variety or appellationbut never the producer or retail price of any given selection. When possible, products considered flawed or uncustomary are retasted.

Ratings reflect what our editors felt about a particular product. Beyond the rating, we encourage you to read the accompanying tasting note to learn about a products special characteristics.

Bota Box Mini Nighthawk Gold Buttery California Chardonnay

Heres a Chardonnay thats as easy to drink as it is to open. One of Bota Boxs most popular boxed wine varieties, this single-serving boxed Chardonnay hits the mark for simplicity all while maintaining a rich and complex profile. Intense aromas of toast slathered in warm butter lead, while the palate is saturated with green orchard fruit nuances. Cleansing acidity balances out all of the flavor intensity through the quick but enjoyable finish.

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Buena Vista Carneros Chardonnay

This Chardonnay hails from the Carneros wine region of California. It displays aromas and flavors of lemon and apple while hints of butter and vanilla spice linger in the background. Fresh acidity gives the wine a polished edge that only seems to enhance the rich, voluptuous texture through the finish.

Chardonnay Styles For Everyone

Bota Box Nighthawk Gold Buttery Chardonnay White Wine, 3 L

I am not a buttery Chardonnay type of person. I love the crisp, citrus, concentration without viscosity, subtle floral and tropical fruit Chardonnays that the grape itself can provide without adding oak or over-oaking, says Odila Galer-Noel, founder of PRonCall. The butteriness makes it too heavy and opulent for me to enjoy more than one glass.

Its that opulence that makes richer styles of Chardonnay so enjoyable to others, like Ostrander, who appreciates the fact that buttery Chardonnay can be both refreshing on a hot day, and hearty enough to keep you interested.

While Quider likes to drink unoaked Chardonnays in warmer weather, she cant deny creamy, buttery, richer styles of the wine are still appealing to many.

I truly believe that Chardonnay is the queen of all wines, she says. And no matter your preference, I feel like there are more options to satisfy all types of customers. Theres truly something for everyone.

Bottles to try:

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Big Buttery Chardonnays Youll Want To Keep Drinking

The rich, creamy wine is loved and hated heres why

Illustration by Irina Perju.

The beauty of Chardonnay is that it can be crafted in a number of styles, each with its own flavors. But for some drinkers, its Chardonnay with the creamy, rich flavors of butter and vanilla that they crave a style that others wouldnt drink if you paid them.

Back in the 80s, Chardonnay was a favorite among wine drinkers. Top winemakers were creating well-balanced wines that offered hints of buttery barrel fermentation characters. However, as the wine style grew in popularity, some wineries began to churn out coarser wines, where butter and oak dominated the flavor profile. Buttery Chardonnay became a cash cow.

A backlash was inevitable. By the mid-1990s, an entire movement dubbed ABC, aka Anything but Chardonnay, was launched. According to some, ABC was an effort to push back against the style and challenge people to try other types of white wine.

Today, American wine drinkers are enjoying a cornucopia of grapes, styles, and flavors, and balance and elegance in wine are highly sought after.

Yet buttery Chardonnay is still flying off the shelves. To understand why, it helps to take a closer look at Chardonnay itself.

The world of Chardonnay

  • Where does Chardonnay come from
  • Why Chardonnay is a popular category
  • How Chardonnay gets its diverse flavors
  • Chardonnay styles for everyone

Bota Box Introduces Premium Bag

Delicato Family Wines Adds Rich Buttery Varietal to Bota Box Portfolio

NAPA, Calif. Delicato Family Wines announced today the launch of Bota Box® Nighthawk GoldTM Buttery Chardonnay, building on the success of Bota Boxs Nighthawk Black® Red Wine Blend.

Nighthawk Gold continues the momentum of buttery Chardonnays, which are currently trending in the 750ml category, up +48 percent1 and driving total growth for the varietal. Offering consumers unparalleled versatility, Bota Box wine is a leader in the industrys premium 3-liter bag-in-box segment, the fastest growing in the U.S.

Our new Nighthawk Gold Buttery Chardonnay was launched in response to the continuing upward trend of full-bodied, buttery Chardonnays and the growth of 3-liter premium boxed wines, noted Kate McManus, Delicatos VP Marketing. Were excited to add a new Bota Box Nighthawk varietal that over-delivers in quality in addition to the convenience and sustainability that Bota is known for.

Bota Box Nighthawk Gold Buttery Chardonnay joins the Nighthawk Tier with Nighthawk Black Red Blend and Nighthawk Black Cabernet, along with the complete Bota Box portfolio of wines. Bota Box Nighthawk Tier labels are available in 3-liter options while the remainder of the line is available in 3-liter and 1.5-liter bag-in-boxes and in convenient 500-milliliter Tetra Pak single servings.

For more information about Bota Box, visit www.botabox.com or .

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