No Rhonda Wood does not use the word “New” on the label, as the new is designated by the vintage year 2020. I am taking some liberties with the “new” as this wine is not like any of her previous vintages. Not to worry as her legacy of wining Gold, Double Gold Medals, Best of Show and Best of Class will still continue with this vintage, but it is very different from her previous vintages.
So how is it different? In the past her previous vintages had in her words a bent to being “crackerjacks in a bottle” with caramel and a slight secondary malolactic fermentation creating a buttery finish. Then the 2019 brought forth more citrus flavors. See a previous story at: https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2021/05/25/2019-wood-family-vineyards-chardonnay/ . Her new is going to be different, but extremely enjoyable in a more subtle experience.
The 2020 has a golden color glistening on the eyes with a medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, minerality and flint are predominate. Once on the palate, a definite “full on” fresh bakery brioche with a lightly smoked almond flavor abounds. Secondary flavor produced a hazelnut taste. With a little more new tight French oak barrels this year, the wine came across with a refined, old world and lightly oaked finish. A miniscule lemon fragrance towards the end of the finish was also present. In a blind tasting, you could easily think it was an old world Chardonnay from Europe. Different from previous and many will embrace it and enjoy it more!