FIELDING HILLS 2007 BIG REDS
Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Tribute
Steady as the Seasons
Ten years ago, I got a phone call from Karen Wade of Fielding Hills Winery. She and her husband, Mike, were apple farmers. They had planted a vineyard on some of their orchard land a few years before, and were ready to sell their first wines. While both apples and wine bottles are sold in boxes of a dozen, the marketing similarities end there. We agreed to get together and talk about Avalon selling their wine.
Getting to East Wenatchee is quite a trek. Driving on narrow roads through national forest on twisty mountain roads, they follow the river - one side falls off into the gorge, the other side is a straight up cliff. East Wenatchee has the clean, clear air you expect at the top of a mountain. The town is divided into rectangles, and when I met the Wades ten years ago, the city blocks had more orchards than houses. A turn off behind an Arby's led to the Wade's orchard, and up in the apple trees, a pole barn was tucked into the rows.
That day, Mike, Karen, and I sat together in their barn, tasting his first wines. I was blown away. An apple farmer with VERY basic equipment produced wines with something VERY special. It was clear, even with the first vintage, that this vineyard was producing excellent fruit, and that Mike was able to make some great wine from it.
Here we are, ten years later, and Mike is an Indie superstar. Fielding Hills wines are favorites of wine publications across the country, with vintage after vintage receiving high scores and praise. Mike still makes wine in his little pole barn, and his main business is still apples. Karen and Mikes' oldest daughter, Robin, might move back to Wenatchee from Seattle and help with the winery. Middle daughter Genny won an International Championship for her horseback riding this year. They built a new house overlooking the orchard, but zoning has kept them from building a bigger winery. They produce a bit more wine than they used to, and the grapes they don't use are in high demand from other Washington wineries.
With all the changes in the world, it's nice that you can depend on some things. Great wines from Mike and Karen are steady as the seasons.
AVALON WINE TASTING NOTES
Fielding Hills 2007 Wines
tasted by Marcus, Jean, and Adrienne on 9-22-09
All wines shipping mid-October
Fielding Hills Cabernet Franc 07
A standout Washington Cabernet Franc. The Riverbend Vineyard is producing some of the richest Cab Franc in Washington. Lush chocolate cherry liquor wafts from the glass. Plenty of ripeness enhances the creamy chocolate and giant black cherry and blackberry flavors. In the finish, red fruit (raspberry, tart red cherry) add vibrance, and pepper, baking spices, and bramble add depth. As the wine opens, smoke and a meatiness emerge in the flavor. - Jean
The nose opens with sweet oak and spice, then comes the plum, red raspberry, and bramble. Great mouthfeel with rippin' acid, very present but pleasant tannins; spice, bramble, and red fruits on the palate as well, with a long chocolate covered cherry finish. My favorite of the bunch, the red fruits and acid kept it fresh and clean. - Adrienne
Fielding Hills Cabernet Franc 06 received 92 points from Wine Spectator.
Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 07
Scents of chocolate cherries, graham, sweet tobacco, Chambord, and dark roasted espresso bean explode from the glass. The scent continues in the flavor, with the addition of sweet blackberry, licorice, and a firm, vibrant core of tannins for aging. The vibrance of the vintage brings a bright uplift that calls for another sip - quickly! - Jean
The Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 06 received 93 points in the 11-13-08 Wine Spectator Insider and was in the "HOT WINES" section.
Fielding Hills Syrah 07
The 2007 vintage of the Fielding Hills Syrah is cherry cherry cherry. Huge sweet black cherry is accented by violet perfume in the nose. This wine is lush - the flavors are mouth-coating, adding milk chocolate, vanilla, and red fruit to the black cherry mix. Ginseng, candied ginger, and baking spices jump onto the finish. Adrienne found creme de cassis, pomegranate, and honey glazed smoked ham in the finish as well. - Jean
Fielding Hills Merlot 07
The 2007 vintage of the Fielding Hills Merlot starts with scents of plum, blackberry, and baking spice. Add black cherry, violet perfume, and cassis to the flavors of this succulent wine. The finish is full of rich fruit and a hint of earth. - Jean
Sweet plum, baking spice, sour cherry, talc and blue flower, with whiffs of tomato plant and earth. The palate is bright, with more sour cherry and chocolate. My second favorite -a refreshingly bright Merlot. - Adrienne
Fielding Hills Merlot 06 received 93 points from Wine Spectator.
Fielding Hills Tribute Red 07
The most "user-friendly" of the Fielding Hills wines, the Tribute (formerly Riverbend Red) is a winner from first sip. A perfumed nose opens to delicious, mouth-filling black cherry and mocha flavors. Sweet plum, tobacco and anise add to the long, slightly chewy finish.
Fielding Hills Collector's Case
$44.30 off $429.45 Retail
2005, 2006, 2007 Vintages
2 - 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon $39.95
1 - 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon $39.95
2 - 2007 Merlot $38.95
1 - 2006 Merlot $38.95
1 - 2005 Merlot $38.95
2 - 2007 Syrah $42.95
1 - 2006 Syrah $42.95
1 - 2007 Tribute $33.95
1- 2006 Tribute $33.95
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Extended tasting notes and comments
We're available by phone at 541-752-7418
from 8 AM Pacific time until 6 PM Pacific time,
Monday through Friday, and we answer email
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Jean, Adrienne, and Wendy
201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333
VP Marketing & Sales
& Gourmet Sales
541-424-8004 (direct line)
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