Hook & Ladder
2011 Russian River Valley Zinfandel
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
Today’s Hook & Ladder Vineyards and Winery 2011 Russian River Valley Zinfandel is another stunner from winemaker Jason De Loach. We love Hook & Ladder’s wines, and today’s Zin is most certainly no different.
As always from Hook & Ladder Vineyards, there is a subtlety and refinement to today’s wine that truly allows the fruit to shine. This wine has a wonderfully refreshing mouthfeel, but also possesses enough structure and backbone to take this Zin to another level entirely.
Today’s wine is the complete package when it comes to California Zins. If you love Zinfandel, do not miss out!
Only slightly translucent crimson throughout the glass, nearly uniform from heart to edge.
Notes of spiced cherry, blackberry, and just ripened blueberry leap from the glass, quickly followed by cinnamon, anise, clove, and white peppercorn.
Super juicy and lush on the palate, with a dark berry compote of blackberry, boysenberry, and raspberry laid overtop cedar wood, black peppercorn, aged cigar box, and subtle hints of dark baking spices.
Super long lasting and incredibly smooth, the sweet initial flavors slowly transition to more savory elements on the tip of the tongue.
A full chicken, seasoned with your personal secret spice mix, then perfectly grilled and finished with a tangy BBQ sauce.
What the Winery Says
We fermented our Zinfandel in open-top tanks and “punched-down” the skins by hand to extract the dark violet color and express the rich qualities this fruit has to offer. After being pressed, the wine was aged in American Oak barrels for approximately 20 months. This dark crimson Zinfandel displays aromas of bramble, black currant, and a hint of cedar. The bouquet is complemented by a full palate of raspberry, blackberry, cherry-cola and bright cranberry flavors with a long oak finish. This multilayered and complex wine is rich and full; a fine representation of Zin from the Russian River Valley that wonderfully complements anything off the grill and has excellent aging potential.
- Jason De Loach
- Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California
- Fruit Variety
- 100% Zinfandel
- 20 months in American oak
About the Winery
In 1970, San Francisco firefighter Cecil De Loach and his wife Christine staked their claim in the wine grape business by purchasing 24 acres of old-vine Zinfandel in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. For several years they watched others make notable wine from their grapes before making the decision to produce wine under the De Loach label in 1975. More than three decades later, Cecil and Christine sold that label and have continued their winemaking skills at the helm of Hook and Ladder Vineyards, a small family winery that employs a simple philosophy – craft exceptional wines, from the highest quality grapes, that people love to drink. We consider each step of the winemaking process an opportunity to showcase the distinctive flavors contained within our carefully cultivated grapes.
Winemaker Jason De Loach
Jason De Loach was introduced to the wine industry in the customary way; physical labor. As a young man at De Loach Vineyards he eventually worked his way into the cellar. At the age of eighteen he became involved in harvest, crush, and later on became Production Coordinator as well.
After cutting his teeth at De Loach, Jason moved up to the title of Cellar Master for Balletto Winery, where he oversaw and operated a significant portion of the winemaking process. With commitment to his craft, Jason soon was named Assistant Winemaker under renowned winemaker Dan Cedarquist.
Keeping with the tradition of his grandfather, Jason attended viticulture classes, and then took courses in enology from the University of California at Davis. After helping produce a number of gold medal winning wines at Balletto, Jason returned to his family roots at Hook and Ladder in 2006. There he began as Cellar Master and soon became Winemaker.
Jason has been producing outstanding wines ever since; having his pick of the very best fruit from over 400 acres of vineyards farmed by his grandfather Cecil De Loach for over 30 years, Jason continues to generate exceptional wines.
On 375 acres situated in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, our vineyards produce cool climate grapes widely recognized as some of the finest in the world. Grape growers of the early 1900’s recognized the sites of our vineyards as being uniquely suited for wine grape growing. Building on their knowledge and experience, we have matched the soil and climate of each parcel with the varietals most likely to achieve its full potential.
Sustainable Framing Practices
Hook and Ladder Winery has taken a number of steps not only to preserve but also to promote the natural environment of Sonoma County.
Cecil and Christine De Loach have included 118 acres of their vineyards properties in the Sonoma County Agricultural Preservation and Open Space District. These properties include an oak woodland which, unlike many parts of Sonoma County, are regenerating well.
A number of years ago we started an oak tree nursery to provide an in-house source of native oak trees to be used in our environmental projects. Along with our infant oak trees we do not cut down healthy, mature oak trees, we simply make them an integral part of our vineyards.
In dealing with the animals that share vineyard land with us we have implemented a number of creative and environmentally conscious techniques such as barn owl boxes and raptor perches which promote natural predator-prey relationships and reduce the need for environmentally harmful pest control techniques.
We practice integrated pest management and use only the most environmentally safe chemicals, those that kill the pest and do not affect any other life.
Hook and Ladder Winery makes a special effort to preserve our most important agricultural resource, water. We are constantly vigilant of the creek, stream and river ways and their ecosystem, never allowing the vineyard edge to impose on them. We take steps to avoid the contamination of waterways with soil, sediment, or pesticides.