Full disclosure: The Rib and I absolutely heart Fielding Hills wine. I’ve had all of their varietals over several vintages and have absolutely loved all of them. I’ve done my best to introduce others to Fielding Hills wines and try to save the bottles in my cellar for special occasions. A few months back, I had the opportunity to attend a tasting dinner hosted by winemaker Mike Wade in Washington, D.C. to introduce the 2008 vintage (see March 11, 2011 post for a rundown of the evening). That said, I’ve done my best to keep this review as objective as possible. There’s also the possibility that every bottle of Fielding Hills I open starts “in the hole,” considering my high expectations of the experience the wine inside will provide; none of the bottles I have opened from Fielding Hills have disappointed as of yet.
On the nose, I got some nice blackberry and currant. There was also some great wood/woodsmoke, but not enough to be off-putting or to seem somehow artificial. I sensed a nice spice on the nose, too. Classic enough Fielding Hills so far…
On the palate, spice and pepper cut through immediately and brought with it some really nice ripe cherry and a little cream. The oak held everything together nicely without taking over the palate. This wine was subtle, yet powerful—very nice. What I have come to recognize as Fielding Hills’s trademark smooth, supple tannins (across all of their varietals) were present in a big way. This wine was smoother than the Elvis on the velvet.
Four hours or so into the bottle, blueberry notes began to emerge and brought along some stronger cream that made this wine a joy to finish off. Winemaking notes on Fielding Hills wines say that they are aged in a combination of American and French Oak (77% new for the 2006 vintage), but the more of this wine I drink, the more I think winemaker Mike Wade has found some super-secret oak variety and/or wood aging process that imparts oak characteristics to his wines that others would be happy to emulate.
This bottle is a steal at around $38. Fielding Hills ships directly from the winery (check their website for states they ship to) and their wines are available in various restaurants in and around their corner of Washington wine country. (Note: As of this writing, the 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon is no longer listed as available on the direct from the winery order form; if you find a bottle on the shelf of your favorite wine retailer, buy it…).
The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon pairs beautifully with grilled meats and is the perfect sipping companion for your favorite cigar. If you ever have an opportunity to enjoy a bottle of Fielding Hills, regardless of varietal or vintage: DO IT! The experience will absolutely wow serious wine drinkers who appreciate finer wines; for more casual wine drinkers, a bottle of Fielding Hills will serve as an excellent example of what great wine can be, and at a price that’s easily worth the “splurge.” www.fieldinghills.com
From the Corkpit,