2020 Wood Family Vineyards Chardonnay – The Utility Player of Wines
Rhonda Wood, winemaker and owner, continues to make consistently outstanding Chardonnay’s. 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 light 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. All have won Gold, Double Gold and Best of Class at various competitions – so they are all excellent.
Last night pulled out this Chardonnay to enjoy with dinner. 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, and crème brûlée flavors abound. 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” Rhonda had previously noted in her Chardonnay. Currently listed on their website for $32/bottle.
Food and Wine Pairing
Prepared two filets of fresh Mahi-Mahi last evening. Decided to do a blackened Mahi-Mahi with the help of the internet. The recipe called for olive oil, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, ground black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme. After preparing the seasoning, dried the Mahi-Mahi using several paper towels to ensure the seasoning stuck and avoid any extra hot oil splatter from additional water on the fish. Essentially the fish filets are “breaded” in the blacken seasoning mix. The end result was a crispy exterior with a smoky complex flavor. The Wood Family Chardonnay was a perfect complement with its creamy medium-heavy viscosity, slight fruit nuances, tinge of vanilla and bright freshness.
Wood Family Vineyards Chardonnay is like a utility player in baseball, it can play any position or in this case, pair and co-exist with so many different foods. An enjoyable and wonderful wine.