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Chardonnay: the original and most famous grape

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Chardonnay, is the queen of grapes.

Chardonnay, is the queen of grapes.

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Le Banc Colin-Morey

Le Banc Colin-Morey

Domaine Saumaize Michelin

Domaine Saumaize Michelin

Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon

Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon

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Chardonnay, is the queen of grapes.

Burgundy or Bourgogne is one of the most intriguing regions in France. A gastronomic wine region, famous for its Boeuf Bourguignon, escargots and Dijon mustard, has given the world the most famous and food-friendly grape variety, Chardonnay, named after a local village.

The styles of Chardonnay were pioneered by Burgundy's winemakers and adopted all over the world wherever Chardonnay is planted. While always dry, its styles vary from appley, nutty and buttery to lean, lemony and crisp, depending on whether they were matured in oak barrels or steel vats.

The unoaked wines best suit shellfish, freshwater fish and salads or pasta with pesto or garlic butter. The oaked Chardonnays work well with denser fish - salmon and monkfish - with light creamy sauces or white meat and poultry.

Burgundy's white wines are named usually by its village or district rather than declaring the grape's name, Chardonnay. This blind tasting showcases Burgundy's variety of styles of Chardonnay with only the highest scoring wines featured.

1) Le Blanc 2011, Saint-Aubin, Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey 12.5pc

A seductive bouquet of grilled hazelnuts and hay. Pure terroir on the palate; chalky, nutty and golden skinned apples. Serve with sautéed pork tenderloin and a strong mustard and cider sauce.

€32 at Cabot & Co, Westport and On-the-Grapevine, Dalkey, Co. Dublin

2) Saint-Véran 2012, "Les Creches", Domaine Saumaize-Michelin 13pc

Ripe apple and melon aromas. Tasty melon apple and lemon freshness. Well-rounded and terroir accent with a juicy tangy finish. Try with baked cod and fragrant basmati and lemon rice.

€22.75 at Wines Direct Shop, Mullingar; Arnotts, Henry Street, Dublin 1; and online at winesdirect.ie

3) Savigny-les-Beaune "Goudelettes" 2010, Domaine Seguin- Manuel 13pc

Bouquet of forest floor leaves and a mineral note. Lemon purity of fruit persists to the long finish. Lean, crisp and citrusy. Enjoy with crab and cream thickened with Cooleeney camembert, on spaghetti.

€31.49 at O'Brien's fine wine outlets nationwide and online at wine.ie

4) Rully 2012, David Moret (non-filtered) 13pc

Nutty aromas with notes of warm hay and honeysuckle. Delicious, subtly oaked and classy. Long nutty finish and balanced acidity. Go east with a mild chicken curry with coconut cream and roasted almonds.

€34.99 at Redmond's, Ranelagh; Terroirs, Donnybrook; and RedNose Wine, Clonmel

Value buy

Dark Horse Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, E&J Gallo, California 13.5pc

A Black Forest gateau of a wine. Rich and ripe black cherry fruits with dark chocolate. Grill a burger and top with smoked bacon.

€10 from €15 until February 17 at Tesco nationwide.

Tasting notes

A date for your new diary: New Zealand Wine Tasting for Consumers, Thursday January 22, 6.30pm-8:30pm at Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8. Tickets €15 per adult at eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-ultimate-new-zealand-wine-tasting-dublin-2015-tickets-12252494541 or contact: Jean Smullen at 086 816 8468 or email: jean@jeansmullen.com

Irish Independent