12500 Steiner Road
Plymouth, CA 95669

Tel. (209) 245-6307



2021 Iron Hub Chardonnay with Seared Yellowfin Tuna – A Winning Combination

Article by Michael Kelly, California Wines & Wineries



Visited Iron Hub a couple of weeks back to purchase their “Clockspring Vineyard” Zinfandel and Chardonnay. We were fortunate enough to do an extensive tasting of many of their wines including their 2021 Sauvignon Blanc, 2022 Roussanne, 2020 Sangiovese, 2020 Esola Zinfandel, 2020 Old Vine Zinfandel, 2020 Syrah and their 2021 Chardonnay. All were delicious and enjoyable. But two wines really stood out as exceptional.

Photo ©Michael Kelly

Their current 2021 Chardonnay was equally as good as previous vintages, picked up another case of this delicious wine and their Old Vine Zinfandel.

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

Photo ©Michael Kelly

Chardonnay typically does not do well in the warmer climate of Amador County and when first offered it I was taken back. It was explained that the vineyard for this wine is in Amador County but located at a much higher elevation called Spanish Creek vineyard in the Sierras at an elevation of 2700 feet. The cooler climate is ideal for producing exquisite Chardonnay grapes.

The small lot 2021 Chardonnay on the eyes was a golden straw color with medium viscosity. The first aromas on the nose, was like a lightning strike! Fruits of green apple and pear shouted out their presence in the glass. Secondary flavor of dry apricots were also present. From the first sip a creamy textural wine with previously mentioned fruits came together like a well-orchestrated symphony. Added to the mix was vanilla which was just slightly present on nose and became infused in the glass with gentle oak overtones. The finish was long, poised and glamorous like a family portrait with a hint of brioche. It sells for $34 a bottle and for my money an excellent price for such a high quality wine. It comes in at 14.7% alcohol.

Aged in 34% new French oak barrels and the remainder being neutral French oak. Held in the barrels for 12 months and went through 100% malolactic fermentation. Immediately, this wine made my annual list of Best Wines Tasted in 2024 (list out mid-December).

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 seared Yellowfin tuna steak. Seared for a few minutes on each side on the BBQ. Served medium rare on the inside. Garnished with black sesame seeds and drizzled with a “special sauce”. The sauce included soy sauce, toasted sesame seed oil, honey, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, wasabi and ginger. Plated with sauce, green onion shavings and a side of extra soy sauce and wasabi. The food and wine pairing was absolutely terrific with the rich texture of the tuna and spices contrasting with the mouthful feeling and fruit of the Iron Hub Chardonnay.

The Winery

Photo from 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 master’s 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.