Throughout 2021, we dove into our cellar (literally and figuratively) to reflect on the past 20+ years of winemaking at Fielding Hills. Experiencing these wines again was like flipping through a photo album, it was a joy to share these memories with our membership. Below, we’ve compiled a list of all 52 wines we shared and the associated memory.
Wine spotlight: 2014 Cabernet Franc
91 pts @wineenthusiast
When we drink this wine, along with the entire 2014 vintage, we are reminded of many changes at Fielding Hills Winery… In 2014, all winemaking activities shifted from our founding facility in East Wenatchee to our current facility in Lake Chelan. With the move, we expanded our production to over 2,800 cases/year and welcomed @tylerjamesarmour to the winemaking team. In addition to these large shifts, we introduced a dry rosé to our lineup, made entirely of Riverbend Cabernet Franc. Much like its vintage year, the 2014 Cabernet Franc begins subtly and finishes intensely. With aromas of vanilla and white pepper, followed by a deeply concentrated layer of dark fruit and barrel spice.
Wine Spotlight: 2016 Carménère
91 pts @wineenthusiast, Editors’ Choice
Our 2016 Carménère was the first vintage of Carménère. The grapes are from two test rows of Carménère planted at our Estate Riverbend Vineyard in 2011. The vines have been slow to establish, but with soft tannins and notes of dark fruit the wait was definitely worth it. We produced only 28 cases of wine and sold out within a month of release. As we drink this wine, we are reminded of how fickle winemaking and vineyard management can be. Decisions made in one year, have impact for years to come. It is our job to be stewards of mother nature’s gifts and, hopefully, create a wine worth sharing.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2018 Roussanne
90 pts – @wineenthusiast
91 pts – The Wine Panel
The 2018 Roussanne is our inaugural release of Roussanne, it was released in Spring of 2020 alongside our Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Rosé. Owner/Manager, Karen Wade’s enthusiasm for Roussanne coupled with Winemaker, Tyler Armour’s expertise created a wine that we have come to describe as a “red wine drinker’s white wine”. The wine was aged for 1 year in 1/3 oak barrel, 1/3 concrete egg, and 1/3 stainless steel tank, creating a layer of textures and a refreshingly acidic mouthfeel.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2016 Cabernet Franc
91 pts – The Wine Panel
Our 2016 Cabernet Franc holds a special place in the heart of Megan (Wade) Mitchell. Megan and Fielding Hills have been intertwined since she was 7 when her parents, Mike, and Karen Wade, founded the winery. The 2016 Cabernet Franc was one of the wines she and her husband, Taylor Mitchell, poured at their wedding…needless to say its a special place, and wine, for Taylor and Megan. This wine is currently available (but nearly sold out) for your enjoyment, visit fieldinghills.com for our current release and library wines.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon
92 pts @wineenthusiast | 92 pts @wine_spectator | #70 @seattlemet Top 100
When founding winemaker/owner, Mike Wade opens a bottle from his 2009 vintage he is reminded of his daughters. When Mike’s daughters were in college and just developing their own appreciation for wine, the 2009 vintage was Fielding Hills’ current release. The 2009 Cabernet and 2009 Syrah have been on the table for many the Wade family’s meals.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2014 Tribute
90 pts @wine_spectator
This wine holds a special place in the heart of Dr. Jennifer Wade, Mike & Karen’s daughter. In 2014, Jennifer spent the summer between undergraduate and graduate school helping her family open up Fielding Hills’ Lake Chelan facility. When she enjoys a bottle of the 2014 Tribute, she is reminded of the early days when she and Jamie Donegan had, what they called, an “adult lemonade stand”, on the lawn before the interior of the winery was finished.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2013 Merlot
92 pts @wineenthusiast, Editor’s Choice | #1 Merlot in Washington State @seattlemet | 90 pts – Wine Advocate
Our 2013 vintage marked founding winemaker/owner, Mike Wade’s last solo vintage. While he had help from numerous folks throughout every vintage, he was without a day-to-day winemaking team. Mike, along with his wife Karen, produced 1,200 to 1,400 cases per year as, what they called, “a hobby” from 2011 to 2013. Rated as the #1 Merlot in Washington State by Seattle Met Magazine, our 2013 Merlot features an equal mix of barrel and fruit, it is a full-bodied wine. It spent most of the aging process in our East Wenatchee warehouse, but, once in bottle, was moved to Chelan once our current facility was built. While we have sold out of this wine, we are proud of the memories and history it continues to provide us. Visit fieldinghills.com for our current release and library wines.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2011 Cabernet Franc
When we think of the 2011 vintage, we think of the growing season and what a wet, cold fall we had. All the fruit was ready to pick within a very short period, putting Mike and Karen in a tough spot with limited fermenters and space for each varietal. Karen remembers one day in late fall 2011, when it was just the two of them, she and Mike were scrambling to get bins organized in the freezing rain and she slipped and fell on the asphalt. She can look back on that day now and laugh but at the time, she was far from laughing.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
91 pts @wineenthusiast | 92 pts @owenbargreen | 90 pts @wine_spectator | 90 pts @davidleclaire (The Wine Panel)
This wine, like the majority of our wines, is from the vines of Riverbend Vineyard. It is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and features oak spices with layered fruit flavors. When we drink this wine, we are reminded of how Sean P. Sullivan (@wawinereport) described the wine as “…a hedonistic delight”. We agree! During the first week of #TasteWA we are celebrating Cabernet & Casseroles with a paired recipe from our very own Don Elsing. The recipe can be found by visiting fieldinghills.com.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2018 Chardonnay
The 2019 Chardonnay is our inaugural release of Chardonnay. It was aged in was aged for 1 year in 1/3 oak barrel, 1/3 concrete egg, and 1/3 stainless steel tank. With aromas of toasted brioche and subtle tropical notes followed by a lemon custard and ripe peach on the pallet it is layered with texture. During, Taste Washington we are partnering with Premier Catch to celebrate Chardonnay & Catch of the Day with bundles of wild, fresh caught seafood paired with our wines.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2015 Syrah
91 pts – Wine Enthusiast | 92 pts – Washington Wine Blog
Our 2015 Riverbend Syrah is created from vines planted in 2000, it features full-bodied fruit flavors and lingering notes of vanilla and coconut on the finish. When we enjoy this wine, we are reminded of the stellar growing season for Washington State. The vintage was the warmest on record since 1991/92 with no freeze/frost concerns in the vineyard, a dream harvest. During Taste Washington, this wine is included in our Syrah & BBQ bundle. Three Syrah wines and a free tin of Cheffyk’s secret seasoning salt.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2017 Tribute – Red Blend
91 pts – Wine Enthusiast | 92 pts – Washington Wine Blog
In celebration of Taste Washington’s theme of red blends & family recipes we are sharing a Wade family recipe for flank steak along with our 2017 Tribute. When we enjoy this wine, we are reminded of the inspiration that drew owner/winemaker, Mike Wade, to winemaking in the first place. However, the story of Fielding Hills Winery begins long before any grapes were planted, or any wine was bottled. In 1919 brothers J.M Wade and Isham (Ike) Fielding Wade moved from Tennessee to the Wenatchee Valley. They planted orchards and instilled in their families a devotion to the land. Mike Wade, grandson to Ike, is the third generation in the business of growing, packing, and shipping apples and cherries. As a young man, Mike fondly remembers an experience with his grandmother while out to dinner. Enjoying prime rib and on a whim, ordering a glass of the house burgundy. This was his first experience of what a powerful combination food and wine can be. Learn more about this wine and get grandmother Doris’ flank steak recipe by visiting our website.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2016 Barrel Select Syrah
In the final week of Taste Washington’s celebration of Washington wine, we’ve released our 2016 Barrel Select wines to our wine club membership. We cannot stress the uniqueness of these wines enough, as we guide the wine through the winemaking process, we select the very best barrel of each varietal and bottle it at 100%. The resulting wine is an uninterrupted and honest representation of Riverbend Vineyard.
Our 2016 Barrel Select Syrah wines is a classically bold Fielding Hills wine. The mouthfeel is peppery with dark cherry and blackberry – a balanced and lingering finish. Only 25 cases are produced. Additional varieties released are: 2016 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016 Barrel Select Merlot, 2016 Barrel Select Cabernet Franc.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon
91 pts – Wine Spectator
This week’s spotlight is a trip way down memory lane with our inaugural release 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon.
This wine was produced off 2-year-old vines at our Riverbend Vineyard located in the Southernmost part what would eventually be named the Wahluke Slope AVA. The production of this wine was Mike Wade’s first attempt at a commercial vintage, the total production was roughly 400 cases across three varietals. Mike and his wife Karen along with their children, family, & friends made and sold wine out of an orchard warehouse in East Wenatchee. Mike was named Washington State’s Rising Star winemaker by Wine Spectator with his first vintage…and they rest, they say, is history.
While this wine has been sold out for many years, when we look at it we are reminded of our humble beginnings. We are grateful for the many wine experts and enthusiasts who sought us out and continue to support us today.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2017 Old Vine Chenin Blanc
Spring is here in Washington State and we are loving the longer days and warmer temperatures. As the vineyards get active and we prepare to share Spring Release wines, we are reminiscing about our first wine release….
In 2017, with grapes from Rothrock Vineyard, we release our Old Vine Chenin Blanc. Winemaker Tyler Armour’s depth of knowledge and experience in white wine were the driving force behind creating a wine that was a balance of acid and creamy, the bouquet was lively with ruby grapefruit, white peach, and subtle citrus blossom aromas.
Today, folks can enjoy our 2019 Chenin Blanc. This is our first Estate white wine and with roughly 30 cases left… we are getting ready to say goodbye. If you’re interested in getting your handing on this Spring-must have before it’s gone forever, visit our website fieldinghills.com
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2019 Chenin Blanc
The 2019 Chenin Blanc is the first wine produced out of our Estate white grape vineyard, Riverview Vineyard, which was planted in 2016. Riverview is located on the very Southern end of the Wahluke Slope AVA, 3.5 miles South-West of our Estate red grape vineyard, Riverbend vineyard. The vines are grown in excessively drained loamy fine sand, which sits on deep gravelly-sand deposits. The Chenin Blanc was hand harvested and gently whole cluster pressed. The juice was cold settled overnight, racked off of heavy lees, and inoculated the following morning. It was fermented and aged in 85% stainless steel, 15% neutral French oak, at a constant 55F to help retain the fresh fruit flavors and aromas. When we enjoy this wine, we’ve paired it with foie gras, triple cream brie, halibut, and turkey… we look for foods that complement the crisp, fresh fruit acidity of this wine. This wine is currently available (but nearly sold out) for your enjoyment, visit fieldinghills.com for our current release and library wines.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: Concentric Wine Project 2017 Petillant Naturel Sparkling – Pinot Noir
The brainchild of Winemaker Tyler Armour, this experimental wine project is based on the idea of “Serious experiments. Fun wines.” Produced and bottled by Fielding Hills Winery, Concentric Wine Project began in 2017 with the release of the Petillant Naturel Sparkling – Pinot Noir. It is an outlet for creative expression in the cellar. All winemaking is based around a goal of nothing added, nothing taken away, as close to naturally fermented grape juice as possible. These wines have quickly gathered a prestigious following and are available in extremely limited quantities. The ’17 Pet Nat is sold out, but we will be releasing the 2020 vintage in midsummer to our wine club membership first then a wider release to the public.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2015 Malbec
91 pts @wineenthusiast | 92 pts Washington Wine Blog
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Raise a glass today with us and celebrate the beauty of Mexico. This evening we are pairing our 2015 Malbec with carne asada tacos. The smoky, charred flavor of the steak is balanced with the big, rich fruit flavors within the wine…some serious yum factor! This wine is currently featured on our tasting menu, it is our third vintage from our Estate Riverbend Vineyard. At 90% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Syrah, it is an exquisite example of true Malbec varietal character.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
92 pts @wine_spectator | 91 pts @wineenthusiast | 92 pts @owenbargreen
The 2014 vintage marks a year of change for Fielding Hills, our team recently enjoyed a bottle of our 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon we were reminded of the many “firsts” that 2014 had to offer. It was the first harvest at our currently facility in Chelan, it was Tyler Armour’s first year making wine with Mike Wade, and it was also the first year we bottle magnums of our Cabernet and Syrah, and it was the first release our Riverbend Rosé.
We released this wine in the fall of 2016 and have been pleased with its reception from wine critics, experts, and enthusiasts. With about 570 cases released, we are down to a very limited supply of this luscious, dark-fruit forward wine.
Visit Fieldinghills.com or hit the link in our bio to shop this library wine
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2009 Tribute – Red Blend
94 pts @wineenthusiast Washington Tasting Room Editor’s Choice – Outstanding
As a family, the Wades look fondly back at the 2009 vintage. The winery earned some stellar scores and the momentum from the previous vintage was really starting to put the winery on ‘the map’. While the 2009 Tribute has been sold out for many years, we enjoy the memories we have made over a shared bottle or two. We choose to name our blend Tribute because the winery is just that…a tribute, to owner/founding winemaker, Mike Wade’s grandfather Isham Fielding Wade. In 1919 brothers J.M Wade and Isham (Ike) Fielding Wade moved from Tennessee to the Wenatchee Valley. They planted orchards and instilled in their families a devotion to the land. Fast forward a few decades and Fielding Hills is continuing to produce wines that remain connected to the land and the history of its people. Mike believes, as he looks at the family vineyard & enjoys the resulting wine, his grandfather would approve.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2015 Lake Chelan Syrah
This is the inaugural release of our Lake Chelan Estate Vineyard Syrah from vines that surround our winery and tasting room. The unique soil mixture of gravelly ashy sandy loam over deep lacustrine deposits (sedimentary rocks formed in the bottom of ancient Lake Chelan) that these 8-year-old vines are grown in, produces a distinctive and exceptional Syrah. From Sean Sullivan this wine features, “Initially subdued aromas of raspberry, blueberry and barrel spice lead to ripe rich sweet smoky fruit flavors. Mesquite notes linger on the finish.” This wine is currently being poured as a part of our red wine tasting and we have less than 20 cases remaining, visiting fieldinghills.com to make a reservation for a tasting or purchase this exceptionally unique wine before it is sold out.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2016 Estate Riverbend Rosé
With the release of our 2020 Estate Riverbend Rosé, we’ve been reflecting on the last six years of Rosé from Fielding Hills. The 2016 Estate Riverbend Rosé was the second vintage of Rosé from Fielding Hills. This handcrafted wine’s total production was 90 cases…like the previous 2 vintages, we sold out before July began. Fielding Hills Winery has produced this dry and crisp Chinon-style Cabernet Franc Rosé since 2014. All fruit is sourced from our Estate Riverbend Vineyard.
Our Rosé is an intentional Rosé, which refers to grapes grown and harvested to explicitly make Rosé wine. The 2020 Estate Riverbend Rosé features an early harvest to preserve the grape’s vibrant acidity and bright fruit flavors, followed by a limited maceration.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2018 Concentric Wine Project Gamay Noir
91 pts @wineenthusiast, Editors’ Choice | 91 pts The Wine Panel
The brainchild of Winemaker Tyler Armour, this experimental wine project is based on the idea of “Serious experiments. Fun wines.” Produced and bottled by Fielding Hills Winery, Concentric Wine Project has gained a cult like following amongst our wine club members. With much anticipation we are excited to share that on June 20th we will be releasing Tyler’s 2020 vintage. A first for Concentric Wine Project, Tyler has chosen to release another vintage of Gamay Noir. The 2018 Gamay Noir sold out within a month of release (we still get people asking for it!) and with less than 100 cases produced of the 2020 Gamay Noir, we will likely only have this wine for a short time. If you are interested in getting your hands on a bottle of the Concentric Wine Project, visit fieldinghills.com or sign up for our newsletter for more information on our upcoming release on June 20th.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2017 Cabernet Franc
91 pts @wineenthusiast | 91 pts The Wine Panel
June can often feel like a stressful time of year with graduations and summer break around the corner, it can be tough to get those last-minute things off your To-Do List.
At Fielding Hills, we have been preparing for our Summer in a Bottle Event on June 20th as well as our celebration of International Rosé Day on June 25th. Next Friday, we are joining Beehive Cheese during an Instagram live event where winemaker, Tyler Armour, and Wine Ambassador, Jaime Donegan, will taste through our 2020 Riverbend Rosé and our 2017 Cabernet Franc along a fantastic selection of cheeses.
We chose these wines because our Rosé is made from our Estate Riverbend Vineyard Cabernet Franc grapes and tasting the two wines side-by-side showcases the impact that vineyard has on the resulting wine. Then, throughout the weekend, we will be offering guests an identical flight that is paired with Beehive Cheese.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2020 Riverbend Rosé
Ever heard the term ‘intentional Rosé’? The term refers to grapes grown and harvested to explicitly make Rosé wine. Our Riverbend Rosé is an intentional Rosé. The 2020 Estate Riverbend Rosé features an early harvest to preserve the grape’s vibrant acidity and bright fruit flavors, followed by a limited maceration. In celebration of International Rosé Day on June 25th(Friday) at 2pm PST we are joining Beehive Cheese during an Instagram live event where winemaker, Tyler Armour, and Wine Ambassador, Jaime Donegan, will taste through our 2020 Riverbend Rosé and our 2017 Cabernet Franc along a fantastic selection of cheeses.
We chose these wines because our Rosé is made from our Estate Riverbend Vineyard Cabernet Franc grapes and tasting the two wines side-by-side showcases the impact that vineyard has on the resulting wine. Then, throughout the weekend, we will be offering guests an identical flight that is paired with Beehive Cheese. We invite you to mark your calendars for the IG live event and make a reservation to experience the pairing, a limited selection will be available.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2001 Syrah
In 2001, we produced our very first Syrah with grapes from our Estate Riverbend Vineyard in what had yet-to-be-designated Wahluke Slope AVA.
This was Mike’s second commercial production at about 400 cases. Fielding Hills was still very much in our infancy, in an effort to keep costs low and production simple, we (unconventionally) bottled it in a Bordeaux style bottle. It was not until 2005 that we switched to the traditional Burgundy style bottle that you see our Syrah in today.
While this wine has been sold out for many years, we fondly look back at the memories of this wine… long nights of dragging hoses, shuffling equipment and case goods in our tiny orchard warehouse, and taking wine order on the Wade family’s land line.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: Malbec Vertical Set
2015 Malbec – 91 pts Wine Enthusiast | 92 points WA Wine Blog
2016 Malbec – 91 pts Wine Enthusiast, Editors’ Choice
2017 Malbec – 92 pts James Suckling |91 pts @wineenthusiast | 91 pts Washington Wine Blog
This giftset features the third, fourth, and fifth vintage of our Estate Riverbend Vineyard Malbec. Both Mike Wade, owner/founding winemaker, and Tyler Armour, winemaker have signed a limited selection of giftsets…making them a must-have for any Malbec lover in your life.
As the Malbec vines have matured over the years the resulting grapes, and wines, have become darker and inkier in both color and flavor. The 2015 vintage has generous aromas, notes of coconut, vanilla, cherry, graphite, and spice. The 2016 vintage has full-bodied fruit flavors with fruit and barrel intertwining on the finish. It brings a big yum factor. The 2017 vintage is an exquisite example of true Malbec varietal character with concentrated blueberry and dark fruit aromas. A bold, inky mouthfeel.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2017 Syrah
90 pts @wineenthusiast | 90 pts Washington Wine Blog
The 2017 Syrah is a new addition to our Signature Tasting. When we enjoy this wine, we are reminded of the rollercoaster of a growing season that was 2017.
Across the state of Washington, temperatures were highly variable in 2017 with a lower-than-average Spring and an above average early-Fall. This caused, along with a range of other factors, a smaller statewide yield. However, the fruit that was harvested was deeply concentrated and complex.
When tasting this wine, Sean Sullivan (editor of Washington Wine Report and a contributing editor at Wine Enthusiast magazine) experienced “Roasted coffee bean, char and dark chocolate aromas are at the fore. The palate brings sumptuousness, but also deftness, showing pleasing detail. A warm finish caps it off.”
We invite guests to make a reservation and experience the 2017 Syrah for themselves. We are open daily with expanded hours for our wine club.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2020 Pétillant Naturel Sparkling – Chenin Blanc
Pétillant Naturel, or pét-nat, is a French term that roughly translates to “naturally sparkling.” Rather than blending different dry wines and putting them through a second round of fermentation and aging, like its well-known counterpart, Champagne. Pét-nat is bottled while still undergoing its first round of fermentation. The French call this process “methode ancestral,” and it’s likely been around far longer than other, more complex methods of producing sparkling wine.
The brainchild of Winemaker Tyler Armour, Concentric Wine Project is an experimental wine project based on the idea of “Serious experiments. Fun wines.” Produced and bottled by Fielding Hills Winery, Concentric Wine Project has gained a cult like following amongst our wine club members.
We have less than 20 cases left of our 2020 Pétillant Naturel Sparkling – Chenin Blanc, visit fieldinghills.com for our current release and library wines.
2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
91 pts @wineenthusiast | 91 pts Washington Wine Blog
We have been producing a Wahluke Slope Cabernet Sauvignon since our inaugural vintage in 2000. The sweltering days, balanced with the reprieve of cool nights on the Wahluke Slope produced some of the smallest most concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon berries, with unparalleled structure and richness.
For the 2017 vintage we aged this wine in a combination of French and American Oak Barrels and French Puncheons. Roughly 78% French, 22% American; 79% new oak, 21% once-filled barrels.
Barrels are 225L, which is about 25 cases worth of finished wine. Whereas a puncheon is 500L. The variation in size impacts the oak-to-liquid surface area as well as the rate of oxygen transfer. Barrels and Puncheons are one of the many tools, like the ranging sources of oak, that Mike and Tyler use to create the wines from Fielding Hills.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2020 Concentric Wine Project Gamay Noir
After a long few days on the bottling line with the 2019 vintage, our team celebrated with a bottle of the 2020 Concentric Wine Project Gamay Noir. Served slightly chilled, it’s a light bodied wine that is refreshingly acidic… a delicious way to toast our 21st year of bottling wine.
In fact, it was serendipitous that Karen wore her bottling shirt from our 10th bottling anniversary today. We’ve come a long way from hand corking each bottle of wine but the things that inspired us to begin this journey over two decades ago still hold true. Cheers!
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2016 Estate Malbec
90 pts @wineenthusiast
With black cherry, cocoa, and mocha aromas leading to inky dark fruit flavors and barrel spices our 2016 Estate Malbec is an exquisite example of the Malbec varietal. As the fourth vintage from our Estate Riverbend Vineyard, this wine is currently SOLD OUT to the public. We have cellared the remaining production exclusively for our Road 27 Wine Club.
Road 27 Membership can look forward to their exclusive access to this wine in their upcoming allocations. We are excited to announce it will be our Winemaker Selects wine for the Fall 2021 allocation. Interested in getting your hands on this wine one more time before it truly is sold out? Join our Road 27 Wine Club… if you’re already a member, please keep an eye on your inbox as important pre-release emails are being sent out.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2018 Estate Syrah
The 2018 Syrah will be featured in our upcoming Road 27 Wine Club allocation as one of five newly released wines (plus our wine maker selects wine, for a total of six wines). This Syrah is sourced entirely from our Estate Riverbend Vineyard. The growing conditions on the Wahluke Slope produce a Syrah that is spicy, yet rich and complex with dark fruit flavors and aromas, an excellent expression of varietal character.
After harvest, the 2018 Estate Syrah is barrel aged in a combination of French and American oak for 22 months. Then, the wine spends another year in bottle.
Interested in getting your hands on this wine? Join our Road 27 Wine Club… if you’re already a member, please keep an eye on your inbox as important pre-release emails are being sent out.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2018 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
We have been producing a Wahluke Slope Cabernet Sauvignon since our inaugural vintage in 2000.
The sweltering days, balanced with the reprieve of cool nights on the Wahluke Slope produced some of the smallest most concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon berries, with unparalleled structure and richness.
The wine was barrel aged for 22 months in 77% new oak with the oak being 85% French, 15% American. Then allowed to bottle age for another year. The 2018 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon will be featured in our just-released Road 27 Wine Club allocation as one of five newly released wines (plus our wine maker selects wine, for a total of six wines).
Weekly Wine Spotlight — 2018 Estate Tribute – Red Wine
The 2018 Tribute – Red Wine is a Merlot dominant blend, with the balance being Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. The 2018 Tribute is featured in our Road 27 Wine Club allocation as one of five newly released wines (plus our wine maker selects wine, for a total of six wines). This wine is sourced entirely from our Estate Riverbend Vineyard.
In 2018 we used a combination of French and American oak, with the majority being single use. Additionally, much of the finished wine was fermented and aged in a 30 Hectoliter (that’s 800 gallons!) French oak tank. The variation in size impacts the oak-to-liquid surface area as well as the rate of oxygen transfer. Barrels, Puncheons, and Oak Tanks are one of the many tools, like the ranging sources of oak, that Mike and Tyler use to create the wines from Fielding Hills.
The resulting wine has aromas of brandy cherry with bright, red fruit and cocoa powder. The small amount of Syrah provides dark ripe fruit aromas and flavors, while the Cabernet Sauvignon adds more structure and richness to the wine.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2018 Estate Cabernet Franc
90 pts – @wineenthusiast
The 2018 Estate Cabernet Franc is featured in our Road 27 Wine Club allocation as one of five newly released wines (plus our wine maker selects wine, for a total of six wines). This wine is sourced entirely from our Estate Riverbend Vineyard.
Our Cabernet Franc block (planted in 2000) is located on the Northwest corner of our Estate Riverbend Vineyard. The soil profile on the Wahluke Slope is a thin layer of loamy fine sand on top of a deep layer of gravelly glacial outwash. The resulting wines are deeply concentrated and complex. The 2018 Cabernet Franc shows this concentration and complexity well into the finish.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2018 Estate Carménère
We have 5 rows of Carménère at Riverbend Vineyard (planted in 2011), with the 2018 vintage we released less than 40 cases of this highly anticipated wine. When we tasted this wine as a staff, we kept returning to the juicy, dark red and blue fruit flavors. We landed on “wild mountain blueberry, peppery baking spice, and subtle vanilla” as a tasting note.
Carménère benefits from sandy soils, common in the Wahluke Slope. The overall production of a Carménère vine is typically quite low which in turn results in a higher concentration of flavor and quality of the grapes. The vines have been slow to establish, but the wait was definitely worth it.
We produce an extremely limited quantity and will likely sell out before the end of October. Visit fieldinghills.com to learn more.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2018 Estate Malbec
The 1 acre block of Malbec at Riverbend Vineyard is located on the Southernmost edge of the vineyard, it divides our Syrah into what we have creatively named “Syrah east” and “Syrah west”. A stone’s throw away from our Malbec is our Cabernet Sauvignon, together these three wines make up the 2018 Malbec at 90% Malbec, 7% Syrah, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wines that are named after a principal grape varietal, such as Malbec, must have at least 70% percent of said varietal in the wine. The remaining percentages can be a selection of different varietals based on the intention of the winery/winemaker. This blending of varietals is one of the many ways that the science of winemaking meets the art of winemaking.
The 2018 Malbec is a bright and punchy example of Malbec character. As the Malbec vines have matured over the years the resulting grapes, and wines, have become darker and inkier in both color and flavor.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2002 Riverbend Red
From 2000 to 2006 our red blend was named “Riverbend Red”, in 2006 we changed it to the more widely known name Tribute. The wine has always been a Merlot, Cabernet, and Syrah heavy blend. The wine has incredible versatility with foods, it’s the Wade family’s go-to for family dinners and special occasions.
Reflecting on the journey this wine has experienced with us, brings a smile to our face. The name “Riverbend Red” was suggested by Mike’s father, James (Jim) M. Wade as a nod our Estate Riverbend Vineyard. The name was changed to Tribute in an effort better share the story of Fielding Hills Winery and our namesake, Isham (Ike) Fielding Wade. Ike was Mike’s grandfather; he brought his family to the Wenatchee area in 1919 and instilled in them a passion for the land.
This wine is a true reflection of the passion and respect the Wades and the entire FHW team has for the land. While the 2002 Riverbend Red has been sold out for many years, our 2018 Tribute is available to Road 27 Wine Club Members and the 2017 Tribute is available to the public for purchase.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2019 Estate Roussanne
While chilled wines might be the priority during the hot summer months, we are eager to enjoy our 2019 Estate Roussanne during the holidays. Its full-bodied and super food friendly, standing up well to roasted meat or spicy flavors.
With limited plantings Roussanne is a unique varietal in Washington State, but more and more producers are experimenting with the grape. We planted 3 test rows of Roussanne in 2016.
The 2019 vintage is our 2nd vintage of Roussanne and the first estate vintage, produced with grapes from our Riverview Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope AVA. The vineyard is nested within the one of the Wade family’s organic apple orchards, it boarders the Columbia River. The wine was aged in a combination of Concrete Egg, Stainless Steel Tank, and French Oak.
Weekly Wine Spotlight 2019 Estate Chardonnay
Chardonnay is one of the world’s most popular grapes. It lends itself to a wide range of styles from Blanc de Blancs to heavily oaked wines. In Washington State, Chardonnay is one of the top 5 most planted varietals with over 28,000 tons harvested each year. The 2019 Estate Chardonnay is the second vintage of Chardonnay released from Fielding Hills Winery and first vintage produced from our Estate Riverview Vineyard (planted in 2016).
We choose to plant Chardonnay because of its wide popularity as well as its ability to be “made in the winery” meaning the ability of the winemaker to influence the resulting wine. Winemaker Tyler Armour, along with our entire team, work to create a Chardonnay that is deeply textured and full-bodied. We aged this wine for 1 year in combination of Oak barrels (60% French oak, 10% mixed European oak blend) and 7hL Concrete egg, this wine is deeply textured and full-bodied.
The resulting wine is deeply textured combining lemon custard, ripe peach, and candied pineapple that shows concentration well into the finish.
This wine is currently available for your enjoyment, visit fieldinghills.com for our current release and library wines.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2009 Estate Cabernet Franc
#75 Top 100 Wines of Washington State by @seattlemet
With the 2021 harvest complete and fall turning to winter, we’ve got a few extra minutes sit down and enjoy a glass of wine. A bottle of our 2009 Cabernet Franc was tucked away in Mike and Karen’s personal cellar and had us reflecting on memories from previous harvests.
The 2009 vintage was Mike’s 10th year of making wine, it felt like a huge milestone. The vintage earned high marks from critics, especially Seattle Met which place several of the wines on the Top 100 list. Looking back at the growth we’ve had since 2009 we are truly humbled. We’ve added an entire team of people, we couldn’t imagine making wine without them. On a family note, our daughters are established in their own lives and careers. Which, in 2009 they were just beginning the trek into adulthood and college. It seems like yesterday was 2000; we were in our tractor shed with the girls standing on bins because they were too short to see into the fermenters.
Time flies and it’s a reminder to open that bottle you’ve been saving – who knows what you’ll experience!
Weekly Wine Spotlight 2015 Estate Merlot
91 pts @wineenthusiast | 90 pts Washington Wine Blog
Our 2015 Estate Merlot is currently on our red wine tasting menu along with a few of our wines from the 2017 vintage. Merlot from our Estate Riverbend Vineyard grows exceedingly well in the well-drained loamy fine sand of the Wahluke Slope AVA. Fielding Hills Winery has produced this elegant, fruit-forward Estate Merlot since our inaugural vintage in 2000.
We only have about 50 cases left of this wine, its drinking quiet beautifully and is a versatile option for guests interested in wines for Thanksgiving. We also suggest our 2020 Concentric Gamay Noir for those looking to pair a wine with the turkey.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2012 Estate Syrah
91 pts @wineenthusiast | 91 pts Wine Spectator
We have fond memories of sharing the 2012 Vintage with friends and customers. Mike and Karen’s youngest daughter, Megan, played competitive club soccer in the Seattle area throughout her high school career. This meant that Mike and Karen were driving over the passes about 3 times a week for practice and games, spending a lot of time at soccer fields throughout the state.
Karen would coordinate with thirsty customers to bring their wines over the passes to them and meet at the various soccer fields throughout the state… a sort of wine delivery meets ice cream truck situation. Most of those pickups were of our 2010 – 2012 vintages.
As we’ve expanded the business, we’ve tried our best to stay true to the scrappy can-do spirit that began the winery. This includes maintaining our Seattle Area Pickups. If you’re interested in coordinating an order with our next Seattle Area Pickup, please reach out to us! We will give you the dates and details.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2010 Estate Merlot
As we prepare for Thanksgiving meal, we are opening a bottle of our 2010 Estate Merlot. We are blessed to have our family close enough to enjoy the holidays together.
Opening this bottle of wine, we are feeling humbled by the decades of winemaking we’ve been able to share with our wine club members and guests. One of our favorite parts of winemaking are the stories we get from customers who enjoy our wines with loved ones. Its an honor to be welcomed into your home. Cheers!
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2016 Riverbend Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon
In 2009, a happy accident led us to release our first Barrel Select label. During the blending process, right before wines are bottled, we misplaced a barrel of Syrah. (Seems unlikely but trust us – it’s possible). Once we found the barrel, it was too late for blending, so Mike decided to bottle it separately at 100% Syrah. Beginning with the 2010 vintage we have intentionally kept the very best barrel from each varietal separate and bottled it at 100%. The 2016 Riverbend Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon is our current release 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, we believe it is an impressive representation of our Estate vineyards.
We have been producing a Wahluke Slope Cabernet Sauvignon since our inaugural vintage in 2000. The sweltering days, balanced with the reprieve of cool nights on the Wahluke Slope produced some of the smallest most concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon berries, with unparalleled structure and richness.
Only 25 cases are produced of our Barrel Select wines. Additional varieties released are: 2016 Barrel Select Syrah, 2016 Barrel Select Merlot, 2016 Barrel Select Cabernet Franc.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2013 Estate Malbec
The Malbec block at Riverbend Vineyard is situated centrally between the East and West Blocks of Syrah. It was planted in 2011 with the first wine release in 2013. We choose to plant Malbec because of its iconic flavors and characteristic coupled with the ideal climate in Washington. Malbec grapes benefit from the large diurnal temperature (cold nights and sunny days) shifts in Eastern Washington, specifically along the Columbia River. In Washington State, roughly 2,500 tons of Malbec are harvested each year (the majority coming from either Wahluke Slope or Horse Heaven Hills). Typically, our Malbec is harvested toward the midseason – after Merlot and before Cabernet.
While this wine has been sold out for many years, when we look at it, we are reminded of our humble beginnings. We are grateful for the many wine experts and enthusiasts who sought us out and continue to support us today.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 2006 Estate Merlot
While the 2006 Estate Merlot has been sold out for many years, we have fond memories from this vintage and made lifelong friends from its creation. At the time the 2006 vintage was released, Mike and Karen’s eldest daughter, Robin, was attending University of Puget Sound as an undergrad and member of the Business Leadership Program. This program was overseen by Economist, Dr. Mike Veseth.
Mike Veseth is an authority on global wine markets. He and his wife, Sue, travel the world studying wine economics and speaking to wine industry groups. He reports his discoveries on this blog, The Wine Economist, and in more than a dozen books including Wine Wars (which Fielding Hills is mentioned in!), Extreme Wine, and Money, Taste & Wine: It’s Complicated! During his time as a professor at UPS, we coordinated a “field trip” for Mike’s Business Leadership Program to visit the winery and experience winemaking firsthand.
Dr. Veseth and his wife, Sue, have become cherished friends of the Wade family. We are grateful that our share love of wine brought our paths together, a testament to the connective power of wine.
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 1999 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
As we approach the end of the year (and a full year of spotlighting our 20+ years of winemaking), we thought it would be fitting to share a story from our “first vintage”… in 1999 Mike and Karen had their first harvest. The resulting wines, limited to less than 50 cases, were not for sale or commercial release. The 1999 vintage was a year of trial for Mike, he wanted to see if he could make a wine that was not only drinkable but worthy of sharing. Something that he could bring to Christmas dinner and enjoy with his family. His desire is to produce a wine that remains connected to the land and the history of its people. Mike believes, as he looks at the family vineyard & enjoys the resulting wine, his grandfather would approve.
Two decades later, Mike and Karen’s experiment has established itself as a premier winery in Washington state. We continue to tinker and evolve, just as Mike did on Day 1, in an effort to create phenomenal wine and tell the story of the land.
Raise a glass to you and yours this holiday season – cheers!
Weekly Wine Spotlight: 1999 – 2018 Vintage
This week, we are reflecting on the last year of wine spotlights we have shared with you… we invite you to visit our website and reread any of the stories we have shared through 2021. Its been a trip down memory lane for us, we hope you enjoyed the trip as much we have
As we welcome 2022, we want to thank all our wine club members and wine enthusiasts who support Fielding Hills. We also want to thank our team. Tyler, Don, Joely, Jaime, Alicia, Dorrinda, Kathy, Joe, Tim, Brooke, Sophie, Josh and numerous others are the engine that helps this business run.
Raise a glass to another year of enjoying fantastic wine – cheers
Mike and Karen Wade with their daughter, Megan Mitchell