Fantastic Fidelitas

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If you have never tasted Fidelitas wines crafted by Charlie Hoppes, you don’t know what you’re missing. I’ve never met a Fidelitas wine that I didn’t like.

And when I saw this statement on their website recently, my palate fell in love all over again.

“We are faithful to Cabernet Sauvignon, loyal to Bordeaux winemaking techniques and true to Washington state’s unique terroir.”


One of my favorites is Fidelitas 2007 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, which, not surprisingly, received 95 points from Wine Advocate. This 100% Cab, which was aged for 24 months, changes every time I taste it – it evolves over time and keeps getting more expressive and more luxurious.

Words that come to mind are lush, polished, big, bold, sensual, intense and rich. According to Charlie, it will drink well through 2032, but we couldn’t wait that long!

We paired it with rib-eye steaks, which was a perfect match. But I could also sip on this wine with gorgonzola and sourdough bread, or frankly, without food at all.

Now, don’t be too disappointed that the 2007 vintage of this most-excellent Cab is sold out. Because April 29-May 1 is Spring Fling at Urban Enotecha in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood, where you can taste the new release of Champoux Cabernet, along with the new releases of Fidelitas Ciel du Cheval Cabernet and Merlot.

We hope to see you there!

Or you can visit their tasting room at Red Mountain, as we did last September.

Cheers!

Update: Full Pull Wines

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I haven’t written here about Full Pull Wines since my post on Nov. 28, 2009, when I first visited the unique wine retailer in Seattle’s SoDo district. At the time, I described it as a fantastic experience, which I highly recommended to Washington wine lovers.

It’s a recommendation that I continue to make. I’m happy to say Full Pull just keeps getting better and better.

In an unusual business model, owner Paul Zitarelli sells quality Washington wine through an email list. In the 19 months since launch, Full Pull’s email list has more than quadrupled, with offers of about 400 outstanding Washington wines, priced from $8 to $150 a bottle.

In other words, there’s something for everybody.

All you have to do is go to Full Pull’s website and sign up. You’ll receive Paul’s compelling emails several times a week.

His emails are classic examples of storytelling. He doesn’t just give the name of the wine for sale and a price. He weaves stories about the grapes, the land, the farmers and the terroir, in addition to providing information about the wine, the winery and the winemaker.

In other words, he makes the wine come alive, while educating and entertaining you with each email that arrives in your inbox.

You can find more details in one of my March columns, Wine O’clock Wednesday, in Seattleite Magazine.

But don’t just take my word for it. Read the posts and articles from many of Washington’s wine experts on Full Pull’s website.

Cheers!

Ten Years of Sexy Syrah at Salty’s

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We just got back from Salty’s Seafood on Alki, where we joined in the ten-year anniversary celebrations for Sexy Syrah – an April event that sells out quickly each year. We’ve been to about half of them, and this year was the best ever.

Forty Washington state boutique wineries poured their sexy, silky and spicy Syrahs, which were paired with some delicious bites from Salty’s. So we paired the rich 2Spires blend from William Church Winery with spicy prawn mini-tacos. And the big, bold Block #3 Syrah from Smasne Cellars went very well with roast beef sliders. Then there was the heavenly salmon that was perfect with the smoky Horse Heaven Hills Syrah from The Bunnel Family Cellar

Our favorite wines that we’d never tasted before came from recommendations from Sean at Washington Wine Report:

  • Amavi Cellars 2008 Estate Syrah
  • Kerloo Cellars 2008 Walla Walla Syrah and 2008 Les Collines Walla Walla Syrah
  • McCrea Cellars - which brought ten years of Syrah to celebrate ten years of Sexy Syrah at Alki! The 1997 was beyond amazing, and the 2002 and 2007 were celebratory too.

Other new Syrahs that we tried tonight included an award-winning 2008 Syrah from Gard Vintners, a fruit-forward 2007 Miscolato Syrah blend from Michael Florentino Cellars, and an elegant 2006 Syrah from Skylite Cellars.

Congratulations to Sommelier David LeClaire of Seattle Uncorked and Salty’s Sommelier Tim O’Brien, who produced the event. A portion of the $45 ticket will benefit FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged people.

We look forward to another 10 years of Sexy Syrah at Salty’s!

Cheers!

What Have We Opened Lately?

Bordeaux Blend, Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Syrah, Wine, Zinfandel Comments Off

We’ve had the pleasure of enjoying many, many wonderful Washington wines lately – and in a less-busy world, I would write separate posts about each of them. Unfortunately, busy is my middle name these days.

So here is a list (in alphabetical order) of Washington wines that we’ve celebrated in the last couple of months, and recommend – plus three of our Napa Valley and Sonoma faves too!

Wait – there’s more! For my list of favorite wines at Taste Washington, see my post in Seattleite Magazine.

Cheers!

Washington Wine Fun Facts

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The day after Taste Washington, I found myself reading the event program on a plane to San Jose. Sure, I had poured over the program during the Grand Tasting to find the locations and the offerings of wineries and restaurants. But I missed a page titled “Washington Wine Fun Facts.”

So that’s what I read on the plane, and I’m such a Washington wine geek that I simply had to share this information with you! Credit for these facts goes to the Washington Wine Commission.

  • Washington state is the second-largest premium wine producer in the United States.
  • There are more than 700 wineries in Washington state and 350+ grape growers.
  • More than 60 varietals are produced.
  • The leading white varietals are Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Viognier, Semillon and Chenin Blanc.
  • The leading red varietals are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cab Franc, Malbec, Sangiovese, Pinot Noir and Lemberger.
  • The ratio of white to red wine is 54% white to 46% red.
  • The average hours of summer sunlight: 17.4 hours per day, about two hours more than California’s prime growing region.
  • The annual rainfall is eight inches in eastern Washington (our state’s major grape growing region) and 48 inches in western Washington.

We hope you enjoyed these factoids as much as we did!
Cheers!