Chardonnay is one of America's most popular white wines. The grapes grow well in all types of climates, and the light flavors of the juice allow winemakers to create a style unique to both the region and winery. With so many wonderful examples of the wine, it is difficult to determine the best Chardonnays on the market.
Finding the Best
Best is a difficult term to define, even in wine tasting. The world's foremost wine rating experts, such as Wine Spectator's James Laube, James Suckling and Robert Parker can't agree on which wine is the best, because wine tasting is highly subjective. Different palates enjoy varying characters in wines, and preferences play a role. Defining the best Chardonnays is a highly subjective process. The wines below are consistently well-rated by experts and well-received by wine drinkers.
Best Chardonnay Under $25
Proof that good wine doesn't have to be expensive, these are some of the most consistently good Chardonnays for under $25.
- Cambria "Katherine's Vineyard" Chardonnay
- Edna Valley Chardonnay Paragon
- Babich Hawkes Bay Unoaked Chardonnay
- Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Columbia Valley
- Talbott Vineyards Logan Chardonnay
- Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay
- Acacia Carneros Chardonnay
Best Chardonnay Under $25 to $50
These mid-priced Chardonnays show consistent quality, yet remain affordable.
- Buty Chardonnay Connor Lee
- Hartford Winery Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
- Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay
- Cloudy Bay Marlborough Chardonnay
- Mount Eden Vineyards "Santa Cruz Mountains" Estate Chardonnay
- Cakebread Cellars' Napa Valley Chardonnay
- Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Reserve Chardonnay
- Kumeu River Chardonnay (New Zealand)
- Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay
Best Chardonnay Over $50
These expensive Chardonnays are delicious for a special occasion.
- Marcassin, Marcassin Vineyard Chardonnay
- Hobbs Richard Dinner Chardonnay
- Jermann Where Dreams Chardonnay
- Cakebread Cellars Reserve Chardonnay
- Rayme Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay
If you're looking for the best Chardonnay you can find, then you will need to taste some wines. Many wine shops offer regular tastings. Check with your local wine shop for a tasting schedule, and ask the proprietor for recommendations. As you taste the varieties available, you're sure to discover some personal favorites.