Ironstone Vineyards can be found in the Gold Country town of Murphys, California, part of the Lodi appellation. Today we look at four whites and one red from this affordable producer, part of the 2018 release cycle.
2016 Ironstone Chardonnay Lodi – Very bacony, with notes of oxidized apples, lemon, and old wood. Texturally a bit gummy, with a harsh finish that screaems of wood oil and cooking sherry. C- / $11
2017 Ironstone Sauvignon Blanc Lodi – Tropical and approachable, with fruit and acidity in check. A burst of lemon and some grapefruit are fully in line with expectations, though the finish is a bit ruddy and rough. B / $10
2016 Ironstone Chenin Blanc Lodi – Very crisp and floral, this chenin blanc offers notes of honeysuckle and buttercups, with a tart fruit backbone that’s driven by white peach and pineapple notes. Very easygoing — the best white in the collection by far. B+ / $10
2016 Ironstone Merlot Lodi – A heavily savory merlot, overloaded with notes of bacon, roast beef, and muddy earth. It’s very green, almost dirty, with virtually no fruit or much of anything else to engage the palate. Hard pass. D / $12
2016 Ironstone Obsession Symphony – Bottled under a second label, with different branding. This is a blend of 85% symphony grapes (a hybrid of muscat of Alexandria and grenache gris), 10% muscat, and 5% chenin blanc. Quite sweet, but with an herbaceous edge, a mix of tropical fruit, melon, honeysuckle, and a hint of rosemary. Interesting as a dessert-friendly wine. B- / $12