Liquor Laboratory

10 Best Buttery Chardonnay Options: Top Picks (2024)

Best Buttery Chardonnay

So, my bartender buddies and I had this bet: a blind taste-off for the ultimate buttery Chardonnay. No labels, just pure taste detective work. The laughs, the swirls, the debates—it was a flavor showdown.

After sips and spills, we crowned some creamy and oh-so-buttery Chardonnays that underwent malolactic fermentation, softening the crisp Chardonnay grape into more creamy, buttery lactic acid.

If you’re curious to know which bottles made it to our list, here are the best buttery Chardonnay wines we’ve tried.

Top 10 Buttery Chardonnay To Try

1. 2010 Henri Prudhon & Fils Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignieres

2010 Henri Prudhon & Fils Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignieres on a Wooden Table

Average Price: Around $80 (Wine Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 13% ABV

Nose: Earthy, with French oak and citrus

Palate: Creamy and buttery, toasted oak and vanilla flavors

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: This white burgundy wine is sourced from both 30-year-old and 80-year-old vines, which gives it a ripe pear profile and subtle hazelnut undertones. [1]

2. 1987 Far Niente Winery Estate Chardonnay

1987 Far Niente Winery Estate Chardonnay

Average Price: Around $300 (Wine Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 14.5% ABV

Nose: Grape, vanilla, oak, and candied nuts

Palate: White peach, citrus, and ripe stone fruit

Star Rating: ★★★★★

Why We Like It: The 1987 Far Niente Winery Estate Chardonnay hails from the prestigious Napa Valley. It is bright and lively, with lemon curd, kumquat, and a hint of wet stone.

“Chardonnay… is one of the most impressive white wines in the world.” – Robert M. Parker Jr., American Wine Critic

Chardonnay was the first grape cultivated by Napa Valley in 1979, and these wines stay true to their Californian roots.

3. 2013 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Vineyard Chardonnay

2013 J. Lohr Arroyo Vista Vineyard Chardonnay

Average Price: Around $30 (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 14.5% ABV

Nose: Green apple and citrus

Palate: Luxurious and buttery, with apple and a toasty oak finish

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: This wine embraces bright citrus aromas and delicate honey.

It’s been aged to perfection in French oak barrels, resulting in a Chardonnay wine that exudes elegance and an unparalleled buttery flavor. 

4. 2013 Ferrari-Carano Reserve Chardonnay

2013 Ferrari-Carano Reserve Chardonnay

Average Price: Around $40 (Wine Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 14.2% ABV

Nose: Graham cracker and hazelnut

Palate: Buttery, with ripe apple, citrus, vanilla, and a toasty oak finish

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: The Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay wine from the Russian River Valley offers a tantalizing interplay of flavors and aromas: bright citrus adds dimension to the wine’s creamy mouthfeel.

The wine is aged in neutral oak barrels, resulting in a rich mouthfeel. Its Russian River Valley origin makes it creamy and earthy, perfect for pairing with roasted vegetables.

5. Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay

Rombauer Carneros Chardonnay

Average Price: Around $40 (MSRP)

Alcohol Content: 14.5% ABV

Nose: Tropical fruit, butter, vanilla, and spices

Palate: Creamy and buttery, with tropical fruits and rich oak

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: If you’re a fan of wines with a bold, buttery mouthfeel, check out Rombauer. This Chardonnay wine has lavish, inviting aromas and a rich buttery texture.

We highly recommend enhancing your dining experience with this versatile wine – it pairs remarkably well with creamy dishes. [2]

6. 2014 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay

2014 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay

Average Price: Around $35 (Wine Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 14.9% ABV

Nose: Vanilla and toasted oak

Palate: Meyer lemon, cream, and caramel flavors

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: From its golden hue to the aromas of baked apple and raisin, the 2014 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay Wine promises an exceptional tasting experience.

This full-bodied wine perfectly balances rich, spicy oak, intense fruit acidity, and a buttery finish.

7. 2018 Stags’ Leap Winery Chardonnay

2018 Stags' Leap Winery Chardonnay

Average Price: Around $30

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV

Nose: Vanilla, caramel, and peach

Palate: Round and full-bodied, with lemon, pear, and cream

Star Rating: ★★★★

Why We Like It: The is the epitome of a full-bodied California Chardonnay – you’ll be greeted by enticing vanilla and white peach aromas alongside a wine with a creamy texture.

8. 2015 Domaine Leroy Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

2015 Domaine Leroy Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

Average Price: Around $60,000 (Vivino)

Alcohol Content: 13.5% ABV

Nose: Butterscotch, tangerine, and toasted oak

Palate: Butterscotch, caramel, and a crisp acidity

Star Rating: ★★★

Why We Like It: This is an extraordinary oaked Chardonnay wine that perfectly balances caramel aromas and butterscotch flavors. Its high viscosity coats your mouth with indulgent butter flavors.

9. 2015 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru

2015 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru

Average Price: Around $20,000 (Wine Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 13% ABV

Nose: Honey, oak, orange, tropical fruits, and truffle

Palate: Pear and tangerine oil with a long, buttery finish

Star Rating: ★★★

Why We Like It: This California Chardonnay promises luxurious aromas and flavors with each sip. It has an exciting mix of crisp aromas and tropical fruit flavors.

10. 2013 Leroy Domaine d’Auvenay Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru

2013 Leroy Domaine d'Auvenay Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru

Average Price: Around $30,000 (Wine Searcher)

Alcohol Content: 13% ABV

Nose: Peach, yellow apple, and apricot

Palate: Peach and yellow apple

Star Rating: ★★★

Why We Like It: Like Lohr Arroyo Vista Chardonnay, this grand cru wine is luxurious, with a buttery body that coats your mouth.

“Chardonnay: A symphony of flavors in every sip.” – Liquor Laboratory

The flavors of peach and apricot continue to shine well until their lingering finish. It has garnered multiple perfect scores from wine critics.

Note: The star rating was determined based on a blind test, with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. Each Chardonnay wine was ranked based on flavor complexity, buttery flavor, smoothness, versatility in mixology, and popular consensus among enthusiasts.

FAQs Related to Best Buttery Chardonnay

How do you pick a buttery Chardonnay?

The best way to pick a buttery Chardonnay is to read the label. Chardonnay from California and Burgundy wine regions are known for their buttery and creamy texture.
It’s also a great idea to look for keywords such as “buttery,” “creamy,” “barrel-aged,” or “oaked” Chardonnay.

What’s the difference between Chardonnay and buttery Chardonnay?

The main difference between Chardonnay and buttery Chardonnay is the latter has undergone malolactic fermentation, which softens the malic acid into lactic acid.
These wines often have notes of butter and vanilla, as opposed to the bright acidity of regular Chardonnay.

Is buttery Chardonnay sweet or dry?

Buttery Chardonnay is typically dry. The “buttery” characteristic in these white wines comes from the winemaking process, particularly malolactic fermentation and oak aging, not from any sweetener.

What are some defining characteristics of a buttery Chardonnay?

A buttery Chardonnay often exhibits creamy texture, with flavors of ripe tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, along with notes of butter, vanilla, and sometimes caramel or butterscotch. These wines are usually full-bodied and have a smooth, lingering finish.

Are there specific regions known for producing buttery Chardonnays?

While Chardonnay is grown in various wine regions around the world, certain regions are particularly known for producing buttery styles. Regions like California’s Sonoma and Napa Valleys, Burgundy in France, and parts of Australia, such as Margaret River and Adelaide Hills, are renowned for their buttery Chardonnays.

What factors contribute to the buttery character of Chardonnay?

Factors such as grape ripeness, oak aging, malolactic fermentation, and winemaking techniques play significant roles in creating the buttery character of Chardonnay. Winemakers may choose specific yeast strains, barrel types, and aging durations to achieve the desired level of buttery richness in the wine.

Are there specific food pairings that work well with buttery Chardonnays?

Buttered Chardonnays pair well with a wide range of dishes due to their versatility. They complement creamy sauces, buttery seafood like lobster or scallops, roasted chicken, grilled vegetables, and rich pasta dishes. They also pair nicely with soft cheeses like brie or camembert.

How can I identify a buttery Chardonnay when purchasing wine?

Look for descriptors such as “creamy,” “buttery,” “vanilla,” or “oak-aged” on the wine label or in tasting notes to identify buttery Chardonnays. Wines from regions known for producing this style, such as California or Burgundy, are also more likely to exhibit buttery characteristics.

In Summary

Sipping on the best buttery Chardonnays is always a delightful experience, but if we were to choose only one, we have to go with 2010 Henri Prudhon & Fils Puligny-Montrachet Les Enseignieres.

Crafted from 30 and 80-year-old vines, this wine, aged to perfection, offers a rich, nuanced experience—a celebration of nature’s bounty and the artistry of winemaking with a smooth finish.

We’re lucky enough to have experienced this wine, and if you ever get the chance to, we highly encourage grabbing the opportunity.

References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323807
  2. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/creamy-pasta-recipes
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