A few years back, white burgundy was widely acknowledged as one of the best white wines in the world. At that time, the only competition was the White Alsatian, a lighter and spicier wine, the sweet and light Drier Rieslings and the White Bordeaux that was crisper and lighter. There was hardly any opposition from Spain and Italy, whose wines tended to be thin in texture. White burgundy, also known as French Chardonnay, remained the number one.
However, things are different now and the best white wines come from California. Californians have outdone the French in most ways, except in the case of producing refined and balanced white wines. This has influenced the making of Chardonnay all over the world. The winemakers of California have developed a new version of Chardonnay that satisfies all desire for richness and texture, the essential characteristics that was previously synonymous with white burgundy. However, the Californian Chardonnays have never tasted like the white burgundy.
While the French needed nothing short of a miracle to secure the sufficient levels of alcohol, the Californians desired a way to lower these levels. The French grapes ripened slowly, in spite of longer hang times, but the Californian fruit ripened way too fast, forcing the planters to maintain their Chardonnay vineyards in the cooler coastal regions.
The California Chardonnay is by and large the most popular white wine in the world today. In 1995, it was speculated that both, the French white burgundy and California Chardonnay stood an even chance, in-spite of slight differences. It takes a lot of skill and vast knowledge to ferment your very own California Chardonnay. Any Californian winemaker, unable to make spectacular wine from the Chardonnay fruit, would soon be out of business. California Chardonnay has a buttery, creamy taste and an oak flavor, with hints of honey and vanilla in it. The reason for this flavor lies in the special fermentation process.
The art of making California Chardonnay is now a widely practiced and refined procedure. The more you spend on the wine, the more complexity and balance can be expected, with a lesser oak flavor. Fantastic California is generally priced around $20. Hence, it is not necessary to buy Chardonnay worth $40 because the difference may be unnoticeable, although the wine flaunts a higher rating.
Owing to the California wine trade, the Californian Chardonnay has emerged as one of the leading variety of wine of the world. Countries all over the world have begun to take notice, including France and the Burgundy Vintners, who are now following the lead of California. Nevertheless, the sheer balance and texture of white burgundy still remains intact. It is the aim of all the Californian winemakers to persist in their efforts, to tame the unmanageable scourge of the overripe Chardonnay fruit. This is done to tone down the loud influence and flavor of oak that highlights a typical California Chardonnay. The wine has emerged a winner all over the world, increasing the trade of the same. The profits earned are again invested in the effort to outdo the previous variety.