Definition - What does Oaked Chardonnay mean?
Oaked Chardonnay is Chardonnay wine which has spent time in oak barrels. The oak imparts certain characteristics into the wine which add to its body, texture, aroma, flavor and finish. The flavonoids which are found in oak, called vanillin is transferred to the wine along with other elements and give oaked Chardonnay its signature "vanilla" character.
WineFrog explains Oaked Chardonnay
There are various styles of oaked Chardonnay. The result depends on the barrels used--French or American--and their toast levels.
The type of barrels used is often decided by the winemaker and the style he/she wishes to create. The Chardonnay wine itself following fermentation can also help determine what barrels to use. The more delicate and lighter the wine, the lighter the barrel toast should be. If it is a full-bodied Chardonnay with full-fruit character, then a darker toasted barrel can be used.
When used properly, an oak barrel can compliment the natural perfume and flavors of Chardonnay. Signature perfumes and bouquets of an oaked Chardonnay can be: vanilla toast, butter, cream, apple or pear tart, lemon meringue, peaches and cream, etc.