In a nutshell: Rich and sumptuous Californian old vine Zinfandel.
The lowdown: The Lodi area is the centre of Californian Zinfandel grape growing with over 40% of the state's production of the variety. The vines used here are over 45 years old and there's a lots of a wine for the money here. Intense sweet fruits of plum, damson, prune, raisin and plenty of vanilla, clove and sweet spice with touches of almond and mocha.
When to drink: It's a very versatile wine when food matching with pork, beef or game making particularly good pairings.
Ironstone Vineyards is today a sizable and well respected Californian estate with around 2,000 hectares of vineyards.The estate was founded back in the 1960s in what was the Californian Gold Rush Country by John Kautz as a diversification of the family's crop growing business.
By the 1980s at which time they were among the biggest grape growers in the state they took the next step and built their own winery and the Ironstone label was established. Today they're firmly established as a well established family estate. John Kautz and his wife Gail still lead the business while the next generation in the shape of Stephen, Kurt, Joan and Jack are all fully hands on in the operation and its continued development. Steve Millier, who graduated with a BSc in Enology from California State University, Fresno in 1975 is head of winemaking. He's been involved with Ironstone since 1989 and is also a director of the California Wine Institute