Washington wine month ends March 31 and now, more than ever, our state wineries need our support. All over the state, wineries shut down their tasting rooms and are taking special measures to deal with COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Most importantly, they appreciate our purchases of their wine. Many still offer online sales. Some provide curbside pickup. Check your favorite wineries directly for details. Meanwhile, here is the list of Washington wines that have been in our glasses lately, to celebrate Washington wine month. However, it’s also important to note that we applaud Washington wine every month of every year.
Hard Row to Hoe has been one of our favorite Washington wineries for years. If you ever get a chance to visit their tasting room in Lake Chelan Valley, take it! We first visited in 2016, and were delighted to go back this past summer.
First of all, the name of the winery itself has two meanings — one obviously related to vineyard management; the other is racy! For the full story, see our 2016 post. Above all, Hard Row to Hoe makes really good wine.
During our recent visit, co-owner and winemaker Judy Phelps poured many of her winning wines, whose names reflect those racy stories. Continue reading →
The 21st annual Taste Washington is March 22-25 in Seattle — the country’s largest single-region wine and food extravaganza. We go every year and always look forward to the explosion of tastes, fun and education during the four-day event.
This year, Taste Washingtonfeatures more than 230 wineries, 65 restaurants and some of the nation’s top chefs. Although both days of the Grand Tasting are sold out, there are lots of other events still available. Continue reading for details, and check out “Featured Events” on the Taste Washingtonwebsite to buy tickets for these diverse activities: Continue reading →
On a trip to Lake Chelan last month, we discovered that the new tasting room at Fielding Hills Winery is as magnificent as the wines. (The tasting room isn’t really new, it’s two years old, but we hadn’t visited in six years, so it was new to us.) Located on the shores of Lake Chelan, the views are spectacular and a great backdrop to some wonderful Washington wines.
Winemaker Mike Wade released his first vintage in 2000, and two years later, he was named one of Washington’s Rising Stars by Wine Spectator. We first met Mike in 2010 at his vineyard, during our tour of Cascade Valley wine country. At the time, he told us that the winery’s history began a lot earlier.
“Fielding Hills Winery actually began in 1919 when my grandfather, Isham Fielding Wade, set off from Tennessee to find his place in the world. Settling in Eastern Washington, he started a family and a business, both tied to cultivating the land. The name of our winery is a tribute to him and the character qualities he lived. I believe his legacy is found in each glass of Fielding Hills wine.”
We’ve been fans of Fielding Hills Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon for years, and these two beauties did not disappoint in their recent vintages. Here are our thoughts on them and the other wines we enjoyed during our visit.
2010 Fielding Hills Cabernet Franc Estate Barrel Select No surprise here, we love this library wine — one select barrel of 100% Cabernet Franc from Fielding Hills estate vineyard. This Cab Franc is beyond rich; it is luxe, pure, full-bodied and unique to the character of the grape and the 2010 harvest. This is a special occasion wine, so we purchased a couple of bottles for some milestone events coming up soon.
2012 Fielding Hills Cabernet Franc ($34) This is another lovely wine — 90% Cabernet Franc blended with 5% Syrah and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s drinking well now, but will be even better after a year or more in the cellar. “Aromas of coffee, cherry, vanilla, woodspice, mesquite and herbs lead to concentrated, rich cherry and chocolate flavors that linger.”
2012 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon ($44) Deep, inky, complex, this Cab Sauv is bold, dense and opulent with a long finish. Smokey, silky and smooth, the tasting notes describe it as “revealing multiple layers and a hedonistic styling.” This is one of the best Cabs we’ve tasted in recent months. Pair it with steak or simply enjoy it with dark chocolate.
2012 Fielding Hills Tribute ($34) In our opinion, this wine is a tribute to Washington state’s fine varietals, in addition to showcasing Fielding Hills lineup – a blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah and 20% Merlot with aromas of cocoa, spices, cedar and black cherries.
2010 and 2011 Fielding Hills Merlot ($36) We were split on which vintage we preferred; here are the tasting notes:
2010: “Lush and appealing with notes of vanilla and other barrel spices accenting herbs and red fruit. The palate is creamy in feel with tart, mouthwatering acids that draw out the flavors for a long finish.”
2012 Fielding Hills Syrah ($40) Rich, full-bodied and smooth, this wine is comprised of 94% Syrah, blended with 2 percent each of Cab Franc, Cab Sauv and Merlot, and displays the smokey, peppery notes we appreciate in the varietal.
If you’re looking for a weekend get-away, we highly recommend the Lake Chelan area — and Fielding Hills, with its lake and mountain views and excellent wines, is a must to visit.