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Hook & Ladder Vineyards & Winery

Owner(s) Cecil DeLoach, Christine DeLoach
Web site www.hookandladderwinery.com
 
Link to this site
Hook & Ladder Vineyards & Winery

Cecil De Loach was a San Francisco firefighter when he and his wife Christine bought the Barbieri Ranch Vineyard in 1970. Located in the heart of the Russian River Valley on Olivet Lane, this 24-acre vineyard had been planted to Zinfandel in 1905. Shortly thereafter, they added another 27-acre vineyard close by where the De Loach Vineyards winery was built. By 1975, Cecil took an early retirement and devoted himself to winemaking. Over the years, De Loach acquired 900 acres in Sonoma County and was producing 250,000 cases of wine a year. The vineyard-designate Zinfandels were quite popular as was the White Zinfandel and Chardonnay wines. Pinot Noir was also a major part of production and De Loach even had a specific winery designed to produce Pinot Noir.

In 2003, the label was sold to Boisset and Cecil and Christine started over in 2004 with a small family winery named Hook & Ladder located several miles away from De Loach on Olivet Road in a farmhouse. Over 375 acres of vineyards were retained. Grandson Jason De Loach, who trained under Dan Cedarquist at Balletto Vineyards, became the winemaker in 2006. Several other family members are also involved in the small and unpretentious operation. There has been a renewed devotion to Pinot Noir and the most recent vintage wines have been very impressive. At the recent Sonoma County Harvest Fair, the 2006 Hook & Ladder Winery Estate Bottled Russian River Valley Pinot Noir won a Gold Medal in the $25 to $34.99 class and the 2006 Hook & Ladder Winery Estate Bottled Reserve won Best of Class in the $35 and over category.

Hook & Ladder Vineyards and Winery wines are sold on the website, The tasting room located within the winery is located at the Barbieri Ranch at 2134 Olivet Lane and is open daily from 10:00 to 4:30. 707-536-2255.

Reviewed Wines

2010 Hook & Ladder Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.34, TA 0.69, 5,800 cases, $19. Released winter 2011. Fruit crushed, de-stemmed and immediately sent to press, aged in French oak barrels. 75% malolactic fermentation. Lees stirring in barrel once a month. Aged 9 months on the lees. · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Aromas of fresh pear, honeycrisp apple, and apple sauce. Light and crisp, with flavors of baked pear, apple and citrus with the slightest hint of oak. A basic, back porch Chardonnay. Decent. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Hook & Ladder Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.64, TA 0.67, 2,923 cases, $25. Released spring 2012. From vineyards farmed by Cecil De Loach since 1973 located on the plains off Olivet Road in western Santa Rosa. Native yeast fermentation, aged up to 11 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Winemaker Jason De Loach. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright aromas of Bing cherries and oak spice. Flavors of cherries, sandalwood and clove. Very smooth on the palate and easy to drink. A lighter, straight forward, solid Pinot, that is lighter, redder fruited and juicier than the Reserve bottling. Good (+). Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Hook & Ladder Third Alarm Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $35. Native yeast fermentation. Aged 11 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Very expressive nose of ripe dark cherries, cola and spice. Quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir with signature flavors of black cherries, cola and brown spice with a hint of mocha. Fully ripe in fruit character, very smooth on the palate, displaying impeccable balance. Highly approachable now and well worth the tab. Very good (+). Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2006 Hook & Ladder Vineyards & Winery Estate Bottled Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 4,519 cases, $25. Made in small batches using open-top fermenters, native yeasts, 11 months in French oak barrels. · Moderately light crimson color. Pleasant scents of red fruit, oak and herbs, particularly sage, all of which are echoed in the flavors. The vein of savory herbs is particularly prominent. Light in weight and easy drinking, this wine is a perfect match for grilled salmon with thyme. Reviewed November 2, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Hook & Ladder Vineyards & Winery Estate Bottled “Third Alarm” Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 168 cases, $35. Whole berries and whole clusters, native yeasts, hand pigeage 3-4 times a day for 3 weeks, aged for 11 months in new and seasoned French oak barrels. · Deep and persistent scents of dark red fruits accented nicely with oak toast. Flavors of deep red to black Pinot fruits, cola and cedary oak fan out nicely on the palate. A seamless wine with a mild grip of tannin and a soft landing at the end. A seductive wine that is quite stylish. Reviewed November 2, 2008 ARTICLE »