Hook or Crook is a “quiet little winery” in California’s Lodi region, where it produces a range of wines typical to the area — think zinfandel plus the usual Cali suspects — all at extremely reasonable prices.
We received a pair of recent bottlings for review.
2018 Hook or Crook Cellars Field Blend Red Wine Reserve Lodi – A mystery blend, chocolatey and full of raisin notes, zinfandel clearly weighing heavy on the palate. Some modest herbal notes give the Port-like finish some raciness and life, tempering the wine’s natural sweetness, if only just a touch. It’s not a jaw-dropper, but it’s pleasant and approachable, especially with red meat — especially at this price. B / $12
2018 Hook or Crook Cellars Old Vine Zinfandel Reserve Lodi – Quite beefy and leathery, this lacks the effusive fruit one expects from a classic zinfandel, though it nods at black cherry notes and some spice elements as the finish approaches. The tougher attack ultimately outweighs any fruit, leaving the finish dense and a bit unbalanced. C+ / $12