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Beaunois, Rousseau, and Morillon: Sommelier's Perspective

Chardonnay wine labels
Chardonnay wine labels

Did you know that there are many names for Chardonnay in the old world? Beaunois and Rousseau are synonyms which have been used for wine produced respectively in the Chablis and SaƓne regions of France, and Chardonnay produced in the Steiermark region of Austria is called Morillon. Across the pond you usually do not see grape varietal names on labels, but the name of the region where the wine is from, as opposed to the varietal names we see on wine labels in the new world.

Chardonnay is a versatile varietal grown in both warm and cool climate wine regions with origins in Burgundy, France. Climate plays a major role in the aroma and flavours developed in the finished wine. Warm climate Chardonnay is generally found in the new world filled with tropical fruit and prominent oak notes along with lower acidity, higher alcohol, and fuller body. Cool climate Chardonnays are made in many regions throughout the new and old world regions with fresh notes of tart green apple and minerality along with higher acidity, lower alcohol, and lighter body. Ontario is well known as a producer of quality cool climate Chardonnay. With all of the options available, you are bound to find a style of Chardonnay you like.

During wine production adjustments are made to achieve balance, and the question of whether to oak, or not to oak is answered. When making an oaked Chardonnay the winemaker has lots of options to play with to impart additional aromas and flavours with the type of oak selected and age of the barrel used.

Thinking about wine, I have a question for you this week. Have you ever produced home-made wine? If you have, I would love to hear your story with details about where you made your wine and how it turned out. Cheers!