list cover  Jane Cope    


Ullage & Spillage
Ullage & Spillage
Ullage & Spillage


























Probably the best known grape to the average wine consumer. It is the basis of many great and classic wines around the world. Historically its home is Burgundy where it is the sole grape in such greats as Le Montrachet and Chablis. Also it has been grown in Champagne for centuries where it is one of only three permitted varieties for that celebratory drink. More recently, with the advent of varietal labelling, it has almost become a brand name in its own right.


Chardonnay is known as the Winemaker's grape, because it is wonderfully malleable and can take on a range of flavours from the winemaking techniques and has a fine affinity to oak. Wines made from chardonnay can range from light and citrussy to rich, complex and concentrated with tropical flavours, vanilla and caramel notes and yeasty, leesy characters.


Chardonnay has relatively low acidity (compared to sauvignon blanc for instance) and can gain an alcohol level of up to 15% in warm climates. When it undergoes malolactic fermentation it develops a rounded buttery smoothness, but loses some of its edge. In Burgundy and other cooler regions it can achieve great longevity and gain phenomenal complexity as it matures.


It works best in cooler climates where yield is severely limited. However it is capable of pleasant easygoing wines from warmer areas with less pruning which allows plenty of room for the producer to turn a profit. Difficult to classify and somewhat elusive, chardonnay comes in all guises for all palates and occasions.


Also known as morillon in parts of Austria.





exeter, devon
tel 0800 0838 075

© execellars 2002-9

All rights reserved