Oaked Chardonnay is one of the most popular wines in the world, as well as a key component in many of our favorite sparkling wines and Champagnes. But what exactly is an oaked chardonnay, and how does this wine differ from its un-oaked counterparts?
Let’s start by getting one thing straight: not all oaked chardonnays are buttery, heavy, and make you think of your aunt’s perfume. In fact, some of the best-oaked chardonnays can be really, really good. And they don’t have to come with a price tag that will make your wallet cry.
Chardonnay is enjoyed in two variants; Oaked and Unoaked. What is the difference between both of them? come, let’s find out!
Oaked vs. Unoaked Chardonnay
Oaky Chardonnay is aged in an oak barrel.
When Chardonnay spends time or being aged in oak barrels instead of steel or plastic tanks, this oak imparts flavors into the wine that gives it a buttery and creamy finish with vanilla, cedar, and smoky notes and sweet aromas of vanilla and butterscotch.
It has an image of both; good and not so good because in the 1980s, it developed a bad reputation for being too buttery and sugary, and wine lovers started saying that they could drink anything but not Chardonnay. After this reaction, the wine producers took heed and found other ways to make wine according to the drinker’s perspective.
On the other hand, unoaked Chardonnay is usually aged in steel tanks instead of oak barrels. That’s is the reason behind its light body, bright color, and minerality. Its nose has citrus aromas with some hints of apple, lime, and peach.
What is oaked chardonnay?
Oaked Chardonnay is a wine that has undergone the process of aging in oak barrels. It is one of the most popular white wines in the world and has many sub-categories. The flavor profile is dependent on where it was grown and the winemaker’s method. If you are looking for a great bottle to enjoy during the winter months, look no further than this list!
Best Oaked Chardonnay
Here’s our list of the best-oaked chardonnays from around the world:
- Price: $34.99
- Region: United States/ Napa County/California
- ABV: 14.5%
- Tasting Notes: It is a medium-bodied, well-balanced palate that reveals flavors of pear, apple, lemon, vanilla, and toasted oak with a similar acidity level. It gives you a rounded mouthfeel because of its acidity. The mid-palate begins to lighten with an increase of citrus and oak, leading to a crisper finish that’s different from the original, prevailing texture.
- Food Pairing: It goes well with flavored paella, creamy pasta, and cream soups.
- Price: $34
- Region: Oak Knoll District, USA
- ABV: 14.1%
- Tasting Notes: The simple aromas of oak and lemon tart don’t quite reflect the velvety texture and layers to come. This wine is aged in French oak barrels. It offers you notes of toast, lemon, melon, apple, lemon peel, pineapple, and oak. It has a very soft and smooth mouthfeel.
- Food Pairings: It goes well with oysters, mussels, shrimp.
- Price: $100.09
- Region: France
- ABV: 14%
- Tasting Notes: This wine primarily tastes like pear, apple, and oak with some soft hints of delicious butter, but it is not overly sweet. It has a well-balanced minerality and levels of acidity that give your palate a long finish. It is one of the most loved oaked Chardonnay.
- Food Pairings: It goes well with cheeses which are soft and creamy cheeses like Brie, Camembert, Mozzarella, and Ricotta.
- Price: $19.97
- Region: United States/ Oak Knoll District
- ABV: 14.3%
- Tasting Notes: It has clear lemon color. It has aromas of stone and citrus fruits with gentle spice notes. The palate shows notes of apple, orange, and lemon flavors layered with a mineral earthy nutty undertone. Its lively acid shows up towards the finish, a medium-bodied, with a smooth ending.
- Food Pairings: It goes well with dishes based on fish like fried in butter or with cream sauce.
- Price: $32
- Region: Oak Knoll, USA
- ABV: 13.7%
- Tasting Notes: It starts with little rough, but a few minutes of breathing makes it very smooth and velvety on the palate. It has intense flavors of apple, creamy lemon, minerals, vanilla, and citrus with some crispiness and oaky foundation.
- Food Pairings: It goes well with chicken in different ways like butter chicken, grilled chicken, chicken with sauce.
- Price: $38
- Region: Santa Cruz Mountains, United States
- ABV: 14%
- Tasting Notes: It comes with nice pear aromas with blended flavors of pear, chard, honey, oak, and vanilla with traces of coconut. It has muted acidity and a very dry and full of mineral finish. It gives an elegant texture to enjoy and robust acidity with almond extract.
- Food Pairings: It goes well with lobster with butter, crab, and seared scallops.
More about Oaked Chardonnay
1. What does oaked chardonnay taste like?
Oaked chardonnay tends to have a buttery, vanilla taste to it. Some will say that it has notes of spice and smoke. The flavors will vary depending on where the grapes were grown and how long the wine was aged in an oak barrel.
2. How do you pick a good oaked chardonnay?
The best way to find a good quality oaked chardonnay is to try as many different types as you can before settling on your favorite. You may want to try varieties from different regions or with different levels of sweetness, for example. Keep in mind that most wines are meant to be enjoyed within two years of their vintage date (the year they were produced)!
3. Oaked Chardonnay Is the Perfect Wine
The great thing about oaked chardonnay is that it can be enjoyed year-round. This style of white wine is best served at about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes it enjoyable for sipping on warm spring afternoons and cold winter nights. During the summer months, you can chill it down to below 40 degrees for a cool and refreshing white wine.
So, Oaked Chardonnay is very complex in taste and is known for its buttery and creamy flavors. It is a perfect match for anyone who is a Chardonnay lover or wants to be one, so you must swipe right to the idea of trying and oaked Chardonnay. You must have seen so many brands offering this beautiful and elegant Oaked Chardonnay, but now you know which ones you have to try. These are all keenly observed and then picked for you, so these are a must-try without any doubt. Do let us know which one you loved the most!
Check the 15 best chardonnay wines.