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The Master of Wine’s Guide to Spotting a Stand-Out Chardonnay

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Hunt believes the very best versions of the wine should be…

1) Intense: “Chardonnay doesn’t have a particularly strong base character. It’s been likened to a blank canvas for winemakers but shouldn’t taste blank! I like my Chardonnay brimming with layered, carefully balanced flavor.”

2) Evocative: “The wine is capable of intimately expressing a particular place. A great Chardonnay should reflect its local conditions rather than a bland universal blueprint.”

3) Textured: “As a fuller-bodied variety, Chardonnay should offer a sense of substance, a physical impression, to the palate. From the drying, stony breadth of a Chablis to the gentle peach-skin grain of California’s Central Coast, it adds to both the pleasure and the sense of place.”

4) Exciting: “Chardonnay’s capacity to thrill often goes unrecognized. When all of the elements above are in place, perfectly taut and balanced, great Chardonnay provides one of the most exciting mouthfuls in the whole world of wine.”

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