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Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Tribute


Steady as the Seasons


Avalon Wine

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.


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

New on the Avalon Wine Blog

for 9-23-09

Oregon Wine Limerick Contest
Broadley Willamette Valley Pinot noir 08 Parker Review
Jim Maresh, Matt Kinne in October's Food & Wine Magazine
Owen Roe- The YAK is BACK
Oregon Harvest 2009 - Maresh, Evesham Vineyards Update
Explosive Northwest Wine!
Willamette Valley Harvest Sept 20th?
New York Times #1 Pinot - Le Cadeau Cote Est 07
More NYTimes Tope Oregon Pinots
Owen Roe's New Wines - Kilmore, Lady Rosa, Sinister Hand, Yakima
Oregon Originals - Eyrie Reserve Pinot noir 06
Best Views from the Vineyards
Every Winemaker Needs a Grabber
Remy Wines' Lagrein - One Acre of Pacific Northwest Italian Fascination

Recent Avalon Wine Newsletters and Articles


9-18 Better than Keno
$20 Oregon Pinot noirs

9-15 Arterberry Maresh, McKinlay
In October Food & Wine Magazine

9-9 The YAK is BACK
Owen Roe Yakima Red 07

9-6 New York Times
Top Oregon Pinot noirs
#1 - Le Cadeau Cote Est 07
Also, Soter, Penner-Ash, Beaux Freres

8-28 Owen Roe New Releases

8-25 Eyrie Pinot noir Reserve 06
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
on Saturdays and Sundays

Marcus, Jean, Adrienne, and Wendy

Avalon Wine Avalon Wine
201 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis OR 97333

Marcus Looze
VP Marketing & Sales
541-752-7418 store

Wendy Brown
& Gourmet Sales

Jean Yates
541-424-8004 (direct line)

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