Another WAwineman classic, 1st posted on August 26, 2009:
Back by unpopular demand! Well, actually I’m tweeting now and 140 words can’t contain me! Huh heh, eh…heard any good jokes lately? Well, I’m looking at the latest posts and uh, well, I’ll leave it to the bosses at winechatr.com to think it over. Hey, I’m just another unqualified wine blogger trying to get my sips in. If you missed my recent notes on the 2003 Quilceda Creek red wine, then my only advice is…be thirsty, my friend.
Testing a new section: something for winemakers and wineries…why did I choose to buy this bottle? As all you faithful followers of my blog can attest, I buy a phreakin’ whole lot of wine. And, not just the cheapo bottles either. There’s no method to my madness…or so it seems. So, this is why I chose this bottle for purchase. (1) Reputation. A nice recent track record of 90+ ratings and a mention by Paul Gregutt in the newspaper. (2) Bottle appearance. Beautiful painting on the label, clean and distinctive lettering, good color blending overall. A crisp summary on the back label about the winery. All this despite being on the bottom shelf of the market display. (3) Availability. I’ve never seen a Fielding Hills wine in any other store in my travels. (4) Price. $42 at Central Market (a high-priced market) for a reputable cabernet told me to take a chance. I recently paid twice that for a Quilceda Creek and three times over for a DeLille Cellars Grand Ciel.
Getting back to my shtick…hey, since when was a fishing pole more important than a Seven Bay man’s life? Fishermen are quite obsessive, eh? The Kent teachers union voted to walk off their jobs…before school even started. Has anyone told them about the current economy? An Everett toddler got the skin on his feet boiled off when an 18-year old dorf thought the kid was a package of Top Ramen. And, did you read that study on wine choices being tied to personality traits? Sweet wine preference equals impulsiveness. Huh? I just bought 4 bottles of Palengat Vineyard cab…and I’ve never tasted a Quilceda Creek cab! Those darn yankees from across the pond.
Tonight’s feature was actually an impulsive buy. I read somewhere that more people were switching to cheaper wines so, me being the contrarian, instead of getting that rare Pine & Post chard, I slapped conventional thinking in the booty and grabbed this bottle. FH is located in East Wenatchee and like many wineries, was a converted orchard that began in 1919. What’s unusual is the estate vineyards’ 1998 test block failed to produce the quality that Mike Wade, the owner/winemaker, was after. So, they sourced the grapes from Mattawa and ever since, their wines became regulars in the 90+ ratings of all the wine mags. Fielding Hills is named after Mike’s grandfather, as is customary in a farming family. I love the respect!
Paired this with Beecher’s Smoked Flagship cheese (excellent!), mixed greens with raspberries, blueberries and fresh cut yellow peaches, and chicken parmegiana. I really should have done steak but, as you know, any red rated a 93 WS will automatically pair with steak.
Color: deep magenta. Nose: blooming dark plum, nutmeg, and blackberry. Taste: more black fruit, TNT on midpalate, good earth on the tail. Tail trail: 8 seconds.
90% cab, 6% syrah, 3% merlot, 1% cab franc. Alcohol: 14.5%. Aged 19 months in USA/French oak, 77% new. 216 cases. Wahluke Slope AVA. Riverbend Vineyard. Bottled May 17; released Oct 1, 2008. Rated: 92. Value: $45. Paid: $42. This is WAwineman… uncorked, uneducated but not uncouth.