Current Releases from Fielding Hills, Nefarious, and Saviah



By Kori ~ October 19th, 2009.

Current Releases from Fielding Hills, Nefarious, and SaviahRecently, we had the opportunity to taste some of the current releases from three outstanding Washington wineries, Fielding Hills Winery in Wenatchee, Nefarious Cellars in Lake Chelan, and Saviah Cellars in Walla Walla. While all nine of the wines are very good, we were especially impressed by the 2007 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2007 Nefarious Cabernet Sauvignon.

As with all of the Fielding Hills wines, the fruit for the 2007 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from Mike and Karen Wade’s Riverbend Vineyard near Mattawa, Washington, in the Wahluke Slope AVA. Interestingly, the fruit for the 2007 Nefarious Cabernet Sauvignon is also sourced from the same Riverbend Vineyard. Tasting these two wines side by side in a blind tasting proved to be a testament to the quality fruit coming from that vineyard. Both wines are big, bold, smooth, and well-balanced with luscious black fruits on both the nose and palate.

Probably the biggest surprise for me in this tasting was the 2008 Nefarious Stone’s Throw Vineyard Riesling. Oftentimes, I find Riesling to be too sweet, even the dry styles seem sweeter than other dry white wines. However, this Nefarious Riesling blew me away. It is off dry but not cloying. I find the crisp acidity quite refreshing. This is a wine that I could just sit and sip and would also be an excellent food wine.

I was also thrilled to try the 2007 Fielding Hills Merlot since Colby and I helped to bottle it in May. We thought it was an excellent wine when we tasted it at bottling, but it has definitely improved with some bottle age and should continue to improve for a few years.

Tasting notes for all nine wines, in my personal order of preference:

2007 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (Wahluke Slope, WA): Deep, dark red. Has a beautiful nose with blackberry aromas and a bit of oak. Luscious black fruits and coffee come through on the palate. Full-bodied with high tannins and a very long finish. Big, bold, smooth, and well-balanced. This is an exceptional wine.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $38; Available elsewhere, $38 to $40

2007 Nefarious Cabernet Sauvignon (Wahluke Slope, WA): Deep, dark red. Lots of similarities to the Fielding Hills Cab. Blackberry and oak aromas; luscious black fruit and smoked meat flavors. Full-bodied with high tannins and a very long finish. Big, bold, smooth, and well-balanced. This is also an exceptional wine.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $30; Winery, $29.99

2008 Nefarious Stone’s Throw Vineyard Riesling2008 Nefarious Stone’s Throw Vineyard Riesling (Columbia Valley, WA): Estate grown fruit. Pale gold in color. Dried apricots come through on the nose; Granny Smith apples and white peach on the palate. Off dry, medium-bodied, long finish. Very crisp, smooth, and well-balanced. Could just sit and sip this wine but would also be excellent with food.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $18; Winery, $17.99

2007 Fielding Hills Merlot (Wahluke Slope, WA): Deep red. An absolutely gorgeous nose with black plum aromas and a hint of oak. More black fruits and leather come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with medium tannins and a very long, pleasant finish. Smooth and well-balanced. An excellent food wine.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $36; Available elsewhere, $36 to $39

2007 Saviah Une Vallee Red Wine (Walla Walla Valley, WA): 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc. Deep red with black cherry, vanilla, and a hint of oak aromas. Black cherry and milk chocolate flavors. Medium to full-bodied with medium to high tannins and a long finish. Smooth and well-balanced.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $32; Available elsewhere, $32 to $33

2007 Fielding Hills Syrah (Wahluke Slope, WA): Dark, inky purple. Luscious black fruits and spice on the nose; black fruits and black pepper on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with a very long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $40; Available elsewhere, $40 to $43

2007 Fielding Hills Tribute (Wahluke Slope, WA): 43% Syrah, 30% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc. Nose is a bit closed at first. Opens up the longer its open with black fruit aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied and lively with medium to high, drying tannins and a long, slightly bitter finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $32; Available elsewhere, $32 to $34

2007 Nefarious Cabernet Franc (Wahluke Slope, WA): Ruby red in color. Very aromatic. Raspberry popsicle on the nose; dark fruits and smoke on the palate. Medium-bodied, medium tannins with a long, crisp finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $28; Available elsewhere, $28 to $30

2007 Fielding Hills Cabernet Franc (Wahluke Slope, WA): Garnet red with dark fruit aromas. Black fruit flavors with some bitterness and astringency on the palate right now. Still very young, should soften with some age. Medium-bodied with medium tannins and a long, lively finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $30; Available elsewhere, $30 to $33


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Merlot, Red Wine, Riesling, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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