Rhonda Wood’s legacy continues in her 2020 Chardonnay. Her legacy, is one 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? Her previous vintages (2016, 2017, and 2018) 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/ . The 2020 vintage has once again brought a different slant on her Chardonnay but still an extremely enjoyable experience.
This week pulled out this Chardonnay to enjoy with the college BCS game. The 2020 has a beautiful golden coloring that glistens on the eyes with a medium heavy viscosity. On the nose, minerality and flint are predominate with secondary aromas of pear and Golden Delicious apple. Once on the palate, a definite “full on” fresh bakery brioche with 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. Absent is the “crackerjack and buttery finish”. Currently listed on their website for $32/bottle.
The Food and Wine Pairing
Paired with a tempura chicken, noodles and carrots in a sweet sesame sauce. The wine was strong enough to cut through the sweetness of the dish and paired with the wine, to formulate an enjoyable meal.
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!