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Must-try Chardonnays: 10 top international picks

Award-winning Chardonnay wines to seek out this International Chardonnay Day, tasted and rated by our expert judges at Decanter World Wine Awards.

Today marks the annual International Chardonnay Day. In celebration of one of the world’s most popular grape varieties, we highlight 10 Chardonnay wines from 10 countries, awarded top marks at the 2023 Decanter World Wine Awards.

From steely and unoaked styles to rounded and rich, the versatility of Chardonnay is unmatched, making it a winemaker’s grape and a consumer favourite.

It’s a favourite amongst the world’s top wine experts too, with Chardonnay wines from across the globe often awarded top ratings at Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA).

Its remarkable adaptability, makes it one of the most widely planted grape varieties. From winemaking choices to growing environment, Chardonnay can give a vast array of different styles ranging from fresh and mineral to full bodied wines with the ability to age.


Scroll down to discover 10 top-scoring Chardonnay wines from 10 countries


For the best of the best from the 2023 competition, look for Australia’s House of Cards, Ace of Spades Chardonnay 2022 from Margaret River, one of just 50 wines awarded a Best in Show medal out of the 18,250 judged.

Also in the Top 50 spotlight, seek out Iona’s Highlands Chardonnay 2021 from Elgin, South Africa. This Chardonnay is lean, shapely, intense; drinkability, refreshment and a unique regional style come together memorably.

Exemplary of Chardonnay’s ability to grow well in a range of climates, more than 10 countries are represented in the competition’s top categories (Gold, Platinum and Best in Show), with more than 50 Chardonnay-dominant wines awarded 95+ points. Top expressions hail from France, New Zealand and the US to Italy, Czech Republic and the UK.

To celebrate International Chardonnay Day, we highlight a truly international selection of Chardonnay wines well worth seeking out, with many more to discover at awards.decanter.com

Must-try Chardonnays: 10 top international picks from DWWA 2023

Argentina

Bemberg Estate Wines, La Linterna Finca El Tomillo Parcela Nº 1 Chardonnay, Gualtallary, Tupungato, Mendoza 2019
Gold, 95 points
Complex nose, showing mineral flinty aromas and notes of hazelnut, roasted cashew and rich stone fruit. Creamy on the palate, attractive and full bodied. Long finish. Alcohol 13.5%

Australia

House of Cards, Ace of Spades Chardonnay, Margaret River, Western Australia 2022
Best in Show, 97 points
Even though Chardonnay’s home territory lies in one of France’s most continental locations, this endlessly adaptable variety has taken well to the maritime conditions of Western Australia’s Margaret River, with its warm nights, luminosity and year-round gentleness. Chardonnay in Margaret River is fashioned with scrupulous restraint today, and this young example from the warm 2022 vintage is no exception. It’s pale in colour, more silver and green than gold, with clean, understated aromas in which shy stone-fruits are seen through a mist of milky softness. On the palate, the wine is clean and lithe, its fruits appearing slender at first yet gradually filling with time in the mouth, and characterised by appetising lemon and lime flavours. Just four months’ oak is barely more than a kiss, yet it provides the brushstrokes of richness needed to set off this delicate fruit at its best. Alc 13%

Canada

Flat Rock Cellars, The Rusty Shed Chardonnay, Twenty Mile Bench, Ontario – Niagara Peninsula 2020
Gold, 95 points
Opulent nose, with layers of toast, cashew nut, hints of struck match, and lush vanilla oak leading to a textured palate of bright lemon, plush peach, rounded, supple oak spice and apple. Alc 13.5%

Czech Republic

Thaya Vinařství, Apri Chardonnay, Znojemská, Moravia 2019
Gold, 95 points
An electrifying spectrum of apple strudel, pear, tropical fruit and warming baking spice with a juicy lemon acidity and bountiful, well-infused oak. Long and persistent. Alc 13.5%

France

Domaine Jean Monnier & Fils, Vieilles Vignes, Meursault, Burgundy 2021
Platinum, 97 points
Stunning peach, apricot and melon with a toasty hazelnut backbone. Complex and elegant with a creamy oak texture and a beautifully cleansing lick of steely acidity. Long lasting and zesty with excellent ageing potential. Exemplary Meursault. Alc 13%

Italy

Englar Castle Winery, Belasy Chardonnay, Alto Adige / Südtirol Riserva, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol 2020
Platinum, 97 points
Breathtakingly pure pear, honeydew melon and lemon flesh with a refined smoky, flinty cedar wood core. Bright and youthful with an understated structure, a supple, creamy texture and a tense, energetic acidity. Fabulously intricate with great ageing potential. Alc 13%

New Zealand

Palliser Estate, Om Santi Single Vineyard Chardonnay, Martinborough, Wairarapa 2021
Platinum, 97 points
Reminiscent of a stylish white Burgundy with a delicious purity of stone fruit and swirling citrus qualities. Ample and concentrated with a linear mineral flow and lingering fresh acidity which carry through to the elegant finale. Alc 13.5%

South Africa

Iona, Highlands Chardonnay, Elgin 2021
Best in Show, 97 points
After a Platinum win for Elgin Chardonnay last year, we all suspected it was only a matter of time before this propitious combination of variety and region would make its way into our Top Fifty. So it proved this year, as this high-sited (200m-450m), mountain-fringed zone in the Cape’s deep, ocean-cooled south brought us one of the most memorable of this year’s Chardonnay cohort. It’s pale dawn-yellow in colour, with taut yet close-knit aromas that suggest plant sap, peeled vegetable and spring leaf as much as green fruits. The 11 months’ oak provide an aromatic backdrop without obscuring vineyard character. On the palate, the wine is lean, shapely, intense: a cool waterfall of Chardonnay fruits which sweep seamlessly over the tongue, leaving it looking for more. Drinkability, refreshment and a unique regional style come together memorably here. Alc 12.8%

United Kingdom

Gusbourne, Guinevere Chardonnay, Kent 2021
Gold, 95 points
A heavenly display of delectable pineapple, apple, citrus and peach skin enhanced with delicate and judicous creamy oak. Classy, stylish and distinctly Mâconnais in style. Alc 12%

United States

Kenwood Vineyards, Six Ridges Chardonnay, Russian River Valley, California 2020
Gold, 96 points
Vibrant lemon pie and vanilla with a pep of basil intensity; fleshy and fresh with subtle creamy, toasty oak and a delicious long sherbet finish. Alc 14%


Search all DWWA 2023 results


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