Chardonnay Flashcards Preview

WSET ® Level 2 Wine > Chardonnay > Flashcards

Flashcards in Chardonnay Deck (51)
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1
Q

In what climates can Chardonnay grow?

A
  • Cool
  • Moderate
  • Warm
2
Q

What can greatly affect Chardonnay’s flavor profile?

A

What climate it’s grown in.

The cooler the climate, the more under-ripe and green-fruited it will be;
The warmer the climate, the more ripe and tropical it will be.

3
Q

Describe the profile of a cool climate Chardonnay.

A
  • Light to medium body
  • High acidity
  • Green orchard fruits (apple, pear)
  • Tart citrus
  • River rock
4
Q

Describe the profile of a moderate climate Chardonnay.

A
  • Medium to full body
  • Medium to high acidity
  • Ripe citrus
  • Melon (green, orange)
  • Stone fruits
5
Q

Describe the profile of a warm climate Chardonnay.

A
  • Full body
  • Medium acid
  • Ripe peach/stone fruits
  • Tropical fruits/pineapple
6
Q

What is a typical winemaking adjustment made to warm climate Chardonnays?

A

Acidification

7
Q

What winemaking options can be deployed to add complexity to Chardonnay?

A
  • Malolactic conversion
  • Oak vessels
  • Lees aging

All are optional; when used, winemakers must ensure the wine remains in balance.

8
Q

What are some more affordable alternatives to using new oak barrels?

A
  • Oak staves
  • Oak chips

These alternatives are used on low- and medium-quality wines, not premium wines.

9
Q

Which region in France grows and produces some of the finest Chardonnays in the world?

A

Burgundy

10
Q

In Burgundy, excellent examples of Chardonnay come from the more northern, cool climate appellation of _____.

You can also find good examples of Chardonnay further south in Burgundy, in the more moderate climate area of _____.

A

Chablis in the north to Mâconnais in the south

11
Q

What is Burgundy’s most northern AOC for Chardonnay?

A

Chablis AOC

12
Q

What regional AOC can be used on a label if the Chardonnay grapes came from anywhere within Burgundy?

A

Bourgogne AOC

13
Q

As Chablis is a cool climate, the flavor profile and style of Chardonnays from here will be:

A
  • Dry
  • High acidity
  • Tart citrus
  • Green apple
  • River rock
14
Q

In which direction do Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards of Chablis face?

A

South/southeast

15
Q

Why does having a south/southeast facing vineyard help in cool climates like Chablis?

A

When vineyards face south/southeast in a cool climate, they receive maximum sun exposure which helps the grapes ripen and develop more flavorful characteristics.

16
Q

What is the main weather threat for Chablis?

A

Springtime frost

17
Q

What can happen to the vine if frost strikes?

A

Frost can burn new plant material and cause flowers to fall off, decreasing that vintage’s yields before the flowers even turn into grapes.

18
Q

Generally, does Chablis see lots of new oak or no oak at all?

A

No oak; most Chablis are raised in inert vessels.

Some Grand Cru Chablis will see some new oak.

19
Q

What is the climate of the Côte d’Or?

A

Moderate

20
Q

Which Chardonnay will taste riper, peachier, and have a medium body: Chablis or one from the Côte d’Or?

A

One from the Côte d’Or due to its more moderate climate.

21
Q

Of the 2 sections of the Côte d’Or (Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune), which one focuses on Chardonnay production?

A

Côte de Beaune (southern section)

22
Q

Name 2 villages in the Côte de Beaune that are famous for their Chardonnays.

A
  1. Meursault AOC
  2. Puligny-Montrachet AOC
23
Q

Which winemaking options are typically deployed for Chardonnays from Meursault AOC and Puligny-Montrachet AOC?

A
  • Lees aging
  • Oak aging
  • Malolactic conversion
24
Q

What are some tertiary notes typically found on developing/aged Chardonnays?

A
  • Hazelnuts
  • Mushrooms
25
Q

Name two commonly seen Chardonnay AOCs in Mâconnais.

A
  1. Mâcon AOC
  2. Pouilly-Fuissé AOC
26
Q

Generally, are most Chardonnays from the Mâconnais oaked or not oaked?

A

Not oaked; however, most Pouilly-Fuissés will be oaked.

27
Q

What style of Chardonnay typically comes out of the south of France?

A

Ripe, fruity, tropical Chardonnays.

Lesser expensive ones may be raised in inert vessels with or without oak chips; more expensive ones might see barrel use (new or neutral).

28
Q

Where in California is bulk Chardonnay mostly grown?

A

The inland Central Valley

Most grapes grown here are labelled with the statewide appellation California.

Central Valley has a warm and dry climate producing peachy-pineapple-y, medium bodied Chardonnays.

29
Q

Which appellation is generally used for Chardonnays from California’s Central Valley ?

A

California

30
Q

Why do coastal areas of California produce Chardonnays with more balance and complex fruit flavors?

A

Coastal areas are influenced by morning fog and cool Pacific breezes which mitigate California’s heat and allow for a longer/cooler growing season; this helps grapes retain their acidity.

31
Q

2 areas in Northern California known to be cooled by fog and/or Pacific breezes include:

A
  1. Carneros
  2. Coastal areas of Sonoma County (e.g. Sonoma Coast)
32
Q

What style of Chardonnay usually comes out of Napa Valley?

A
  • Full bodied
  • Tropical fruity
  • Oaky
33
Q

Which county on California’s Central Coast is known for its Chardonnay?

A

Santa Barbara County

34
Q

What is the style of Chardonnay that comes from Santa Barbara County?

A

It varies.

Some will express similar characteristics of the Côte de Beaune (high acid, lemon, medium body, little oak) and some will be more like Napa (medium acid, tropical fruits, full body, lots of oak).

35
Q

The climate in Oregon is generally _____.

A

Moderate

36
Q

Why do Oregon Chardonnays typically have higher acidity than Napa Valley Chardonnays?

A

Oregon’s climate is generally moderate and cooler than Napa, allowing the grapes to retain their acidity.

37
Q

What appellation in Australia produces Chardonnay in high volume (and is usually low-to-medium quality)?

A

South Eastern Australia

The grapes can come from anywhere within this huge area.

38
Q

Name 3 appellations in Australia where high quality Chardonnay is produced.

What shared feature do they have?

A
  1. Margaret River
  2. Yarra Valley
  3. Adelaide Hills

All 3 areas are cooler due to altitude (Adelaide Hills) or ocean breezes.

39
Q

What fruit profile does Chardonnay from Australia typically express?

A
  • Peach/ripe stone fruits
  • Pineapple/tropical fruits
40
Q

Which appellation on New Zealand’s South Island is known for Chardonnay? What is its climate?

A

Marlborough which has a cool to moderate climate.

41
Q

What weather patterns help Marlborough produce such good Chardonnay?

A
  • Sea breezes (help grapes retain high acidity)
  • Rainfall
42
Q

Which appellation on New Zealand’s North Island is known for Chardonnay? What is its climate?

A

Hawke’s Bay which has a moderate climate.

43
Q

New Zealand’s Chardonnays generally have high or low acidity?

A

High acidity and peach/stone fruit flavors, too.

44
Q

What region in Chile is known for experiencing Pacific sea breezes and morning fog?

A

Casablanca Valley

45
Q

The _____ Valley in Chile is large and warm, and makes Chardonnays that vary from inexpensive to pricey.

What feature of this valley helps the grapes retain their acidity?

A

Central Valley is large and warm.

Altitude can help alleviate the heat of the valley, lending freshness to the grapes.

46
Q

High-volume, bulk Chardonnay from South Africa is known to come from the hot inland areas of the _____ _____.

A

Western Cape

47
Q

When making high-volume Chardonnay in South Africa, many winemakers will blend in what grape?

Why?

A

Chenin Blanc, because its naturally high acidity will balance the low acid, blousy style of warm climate Chardonnay.

48
Q

What is one of the coolest growing areas in South Africa planted to Chardonnay?

A

Walker Bay

49
Q

What cools down Walker Bay?

A

Strong, cool breezes coming off the South Ocean.

This consistent cooling helps grapes retain their acidity to balance the ripe peachy/pineapple-y flavors Walker Bay is known for.

50
Q

How are today’s oak trends with Chardonnay different from the oak trends in the 1980s and 1990s?

A

Today oak usage is considerably down from what it was in the 80s and 90s when it dominated the wine.

Today winemakers are more judicious with their oak usage.

51
Q

Why is Chardonnay known as a “winemaker’s grape”?

A

Chardonnay is a grape that winemakers use to demonstrate their skills in controlling malo, lees and oak aging, and how those techniques can bolster the expression of a vineyard or climate.