12500 Steiner Road
Plymouth, CA 95669

Tel. (209) 245-6307



2020 Iron Hub “Old Vine” Zinfandel

Article by Michael Kelly, California Wines & Wineries


The Wine  Wine is bottled poetry” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Photo ©Michael Kelly

Went to Iron Hub a couple of weeks back to purchase their “Clockspring Vineyard” Zinfandel and Chardonnay. While there did a side by side tasting of their “Old Vine” and “Clockspring” Zinfandel’s. While I had already made a proclamation that Clockspring made my Best Wines tasted in the year, was not expecting their “Old Vine” to be much of a match. Was I wrong!  I came home with several bottles of “Old Vine” much to my liking. The wine on eyes was similar to “Clockspring” but a shade or two darker and more mysterious. On the nose intense dark cherries and blackberries. On the palate, ripe juicy plums and soft pipe tobacco. On the finish the dominant flavor was vanilla counterbalanced by clove and vanilla notes. Layers and layers of spice and unexpected joy provide a lingering finish.

The “Old Vine” vintage includes 10% Barbera, 4% Mourvedre, 2% Grenache and 1% Syrah. It is listed at $38/bottle and comes in at 15.9% alcohol. It is aged 15 months in oak barrels. The grapes come from the nearby Oakmont Vineyard where the vines are 80 years of age.

So without a doubt the second Zinfandel from Iron Hub makes my annual Best Wines tasted during the year! This also means it is now a “stocked commodity” in the cellar.

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

Paired this evening with a filet mignon kabob marinated in a Chaka sauce and seared on the 1450 degree BBQ (thus the charred finished) but still cooked to medium rare. Slices of green & red bell peppers, purple onions and mushrooms on the skewers. Accompanied by a fresh garden salad. The wine and food was opulent in that the wine swallowed the “charness” and yet delved into the tender meat. Had never tried Zinfandel with steak kabobs and this will definitely will be a standard going forward.

The Winery

Picture by Iron Hub Winery

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.

Spencer, their son, following in his father’s footsteps by also graduating from UC Davis with a master’s 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