Private Tasting: 2008 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon



By Kori ~ January 30th, 2012.

As we have said many times before, Washington State produces world-class Cabernet Sauvignon and delivers excellent bang-for-your-buck as compared to other top Cabernet regions around the world.

Recently, we had what turned out to be a showdown between two Washington Cabernet Sauvignons in one of our double blind private tasting dinners. We had two wines from the 2008 vintage, the 2008 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2008 Gorman The Bully Cabernet Sauvignon. For a more complete description of how we set up these private tastings, please refer to How We Taste.

Fielding Hills Winery is a small, family-owned winery located in Wenatchee, Washington. Owner/winemaker Mike Wade and his wife Karen are longtime apple and cherry growers who have turned a middle portion of their orchard near Mattawa into a vineyard. Their Riverbend Vineyard, planted in 1998, is in the Wahluke Slope AVA. They source all of their fruit from Riverbend Vineyard.

Gorman Winery, located in Woodinville, Washington, was founded in 2002 by owner/winemaker Chris Gorman. He runs a two-man show with assistant winemaker Mike Metheny, and they are doing a phenomenal job. Gorman produces fewer than 3,000 cases annually and focuses primarily on Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah sourced from Red Mountain.

Both of these wines are outstanding and paired perfectly with our weeknight dinner of Swiss steak, rice, and green beans; although, when forced to pick our favorite, we all gave a slight edge to what turned out to be Fielding Hills. Not only did both wines receive a Quality rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5), but they also received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5). Fielding Hills and Gorman are superstars in the Washington wine industry. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to give them both a try.

2008 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (Riverbend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): Deep, dark inky purplish red. Gorgeous nose with blackberry, black plum, vanilla, and oak aromas. Gorgeous black fruits as well as cherry vanilla cola come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied and lively with medium to high, chewy tannins. Well-balanced and extremely smooth with a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $42; Available elsewhere, $42

2008 Gorman The Bully Cabernet Sauvignon (Red Mountain, Washington): Deep, dark purple. Very aromatic with leather, black cherry, bacon, smoke, and earth on the nose. More black cherry, leather, and molasses come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with a very long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $40; Available elsewhere, $35 to $48


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wines Over $25

Leave a Comment