12500 Steiner Road
Plymouth, CA 95669

Tel. (209) 245-6307



2019 Iron Hub Winery “Clockspring” Zinfandel – A Wonderful Surprise Hidden Inside!

Clockspring Zinfandel

Article by Michael Kelly, California Wines & Wineries


Photo ©Michael Kelly


The Winery

Pictures from Iron Hub Wines Website

The winery was founded by Tom Jones from Lava Cap Winery fame in the Apple Hill area near Placerville. Tom completed his masters degree in Viticulture & Enology from UC Davis, and for almost 30 years developed award-winning wines. Tom and his wife Beth’s new endeavor began in 2014 with the purchase of the 33 acre property that had been known as Amador Foothill Winery. Having control of the grapes from vineyard to bottle was key in his quest for quality control with 17 acres planted in vines.

The name of the winery came about from Tom’s mountain sojourns in the area. On an adventure he discovered an antique, hand-forged wagon wheel hub in a remote area. Thus this small winery on Steiner Road drew a parallel with his goal of making small lot artisan wines similar to the craftsmanship of the “iron hub” he found on a walk. The beautiful new tasting room was opened in December 2017.

Pictures from Iron Hub Wines Website

Spencer, their son, following in his father’s footsteps by also graduating from UC Davis with a masters degree from the Department of Viticulture and Enology, is the winery’s Assistant winemaker. Today, they form a dynamic father-son winemaking team. Tom and Spencer enjoy and demand a hands-on approach to every aspect of the winemaking process, from tending the grapes in the estate vineyards to carefully crafting both red and white wines. They recently added 10 acres managing the Spanish Creek site they are leasing. Having now 27 acres of “estate property” to manage is keeping them very busy. Tom has stated that “Our estate affords me creative control from the vine to the bottle

The Wine – “Wine is bottled poetry” – Robert Louis Stevenson

While the title may state a “wonderful surprise” it really was not. On my last visit to Iron Hub Winery, I was taken back at that time with the Iron Hub “Clockspring” Zinfandel. I wrote I would be doing a follow up story on it after purchasing a few bottles.

Photo ©Michael Kelly


While in the picture below it looks dark and foreboding, it was more of a refreshing, light, airy and graceful Zinfandel.

Photo ©Michael Kelly

The picture below shows the real color of a light purple / red brick. On the eyes semi-translucent and not like a homemade Italian Zinfandel. Yet even with being “light” in color this Zinfandel showed enough fruit to show its true heritage. 

Photo ©Michael Kelly

On the nose dominant aroma of blackberry and secondary hints of light oak and vanilla. On the palate, beautifully intense flavors of blackberry preserves and an arsenal of what I refer to as Christmas spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove and completed with pepper. This light color wine was a Trojan horse unleashing its army of flavors on the finish with jagged tannins providing a long and beckoning one more sip.

Tom Jones handpicked the grapes from the Clockspring vineyard and then cold soaked for several hours to add in-depth aroma to the wine. Blended into this Zinfandel was 8% Sangiovese and 2% Mourvèdre. Aged for 15 months in 30% new French oak barrels and the balance being neutral. The wine is listed for $36/bottle with only 280 cases produced. The grapes are from the organic Clockspring vineyard and comes in at 14.4% alcohol.

The Food and Wine Pairing – Food without wine is a corpse; wine without food is a ghost. United and well matched, they are as body and soul: living partners” – Andre Simon

Photo ©Michael Kelly


The sun was shining after days of inclement weather, so pulled this wine to have with a BBQ’d sausage. It was a pork sausage with sun dried tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese. Served with a spicy potato salad for a simple but filling meal. The Clockspring Zinfandel with its own “cooling spices” and fruit was perfectly made for the meal.

This wine will make my annual Best Wines tasting for 2024! We are heading back in a couple weeks to pick up some additional bottles!