The winery was founded by Tom Jones (and family) from Lava Cap Winery fame in the Apple Hill area near Placerville. Tom completed his Master Degree in Viticulture & Enology from UC Davis, and for almost 30 years developed award-winning wines. His new endeavor in 2014 was purchasing a 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.
The name 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. So 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 found “iron hub”. The beautiful new tasting room was opened in December 2017.
The 2018 Small Lot Chardonnay
The previous time I tasted this Chardonnay was at the winery. Chardonnay typically does not do well in the warmer climate of Amador County, so I was intrigued and anxious to taste it. 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. The cooler climate is ideal for producing exquisite Chardonnay grapes.
The small lot 2018 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 apple, apricot and pear shouted out their presence in the glass. On the first sip a creamy textual wine with previous 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 royal family event. This review was done while tasting at the winery and still was stop on at home! 285 cases were produced and spent 13 months in the barrel. It sells for $32 a bottle. Immediately, this wine made my list of Best Wines Tasted in 2021!
The Food and Wine Pairing
The Chardonnay was paired with a lemon garlic shrimp pasta dish. It consisted of fettucine, shrimp, olive oil, unsalted butter, garlic cloves, dried oregano, spinach, crushed red pepper, chopped parsley and lemon juice. Topped off with Parmesan shredded cheese. Additionally a fresh garden salad with Blue cheese dressing was served. The “lightness” of the meal paired wonderfully with this exquisite Chardonnay. Having the wine at home with a meal reconfirmed my voting it for the Best Wines of 2021! I now need to head back to pick more up!