Hello friends. Has it really been more than a year since we’ve offered a wine from Fielding Hills? Oops. FHW remains one of the hidden gems of Washington, an underground treasure on the Wahluke Slope.
The vigneron model is rare in Washington, but Mike Wade fits the bill. He grows the grapes, at Fielding Hills’ estate Riverbend Vineyard (location here) smack in the middle of the sunny Wahluke Slope. He makes the wine, at his facility in East Wenatchee. He manages the entire process, from dirt to bottle, and he’s been doing it since 1998.
That’s the year that Mike tore out an old Red Delicious apple orchard and replaced it with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Syrah, on soils of coarse, volcanic, sandy loam. The Wades still grow cherries and apples in addition to wine grapes, so harvest season is loooooooooooong for the Wade family.
It’s also clear that they know how to grow fruit in this part of eastern Washington. They sell some of their grapes from Riverbend, and the other winemakers who use it frequently comment on how pristine the grapes are. And now we’re starting to see the vines entering maturity. This 2013 harvest was fifteenth-leaf, and as the vines dig deeper, the wines only seem to be getting more compelling.
The 2010 vintage was the first truly cool year that Mike Wade worked with, and he does well here to capture the earthy side of Cabernet. A good core of blackcurrant fruit and high-cacao chocolate is complicated by graphitic minerality and lovely green notes of eucalyptus and cucumber. With the combination of Cab’s chewy tannins and the bright acids of the 2010 vintage, this will be a fascinating bottle to watch evolve over time.
Sean Sullivan has been writing Seattle Met Magazine’s Top 100 wine piece for several years now. This year, they mixed up the format a bit, splitting some of the article into top wines by varietal. On that list, the #1 Cabernet Sauvignon was this 2010 vintage from Fielding Hills:
Seattle Met Magazine (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD].”
That write-up has made the wine a little more scarce, and our allocation is limited. Please limit order requests to 6 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.