“Fielding” Home Runs

The last stop of our first full day was Fielding Estate Winery. We’re members of the ‘Friends of FEW‘ wine club there so we pretty much see what’s going on in terms of wine releases, but we don’t always open the wines we buy (we have this habit of saving wine…silly I know!). We tried to catch Curtis Fielding before he left, but we were a little late getting out of Vineland after Brian’s extensive ‘tour of the 90’s’.

We joined the wine club a couple years ago and have always enjoyed the wines (especially the whites) coming out of Fielding, although in recent years some memorable reds have grabbed our attention. As some of these are ones we are holding, the chance to sample them and see how they are aging is invaluable. The next night at Cuvée (watch for that post soon), Fielding Estate Winery took home 3 awards for their Pinot Gris, Viognier and Cabernet Franc, ‘forcing’ us to make a quick stop on the way home to nab some of the Cab Franc that we had missed on this stop.

Here’s what we tasted:

2010 Viognier: This wine surprised me with the weight and mouthfeel…definitely bigger bodied that I imagined. The nose was honey and apple clafoutis (apples, cream, shortbread), honey, and a hint of something akin to marzipan. The mouth was sweet peaches, pears, and spice box, although the long spicy finish was refreshing, not cloying at all. I haven’t had a lot of Viognier (I plan to have more now), but this one was quite impressive.

2008 Gewürztraminer: With light floral notes, some honeyed peaches, and a light tropical fruit in the background, the nose on this sings Gewürztraminer (usually pronounced guh-voorts-tra-meaner, or as Deb says “the wine that you say with your mouth full of crackers”!). With a smooth mouthfeel and a nice sweetness (to tame your Thai food), the wine finishes with a nice touch of nutmeg.

Fielding Estate Winery 2008 Gewürztraminer

2009 Red Conception: A red blend that includes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, this one brings strong central fruit on the nose and palate. It isn’t a “fruit bomb” in the hotter new world sense but it is very much a fruit dominant wine and would be very food friendly given the acidic backbone carrying the fruit. There’s lots of dark berry fruit from start to finish and a slightly smoky, spicy ending likely attributable to the Syrah.

Fielding Estate Winery 2009 Red Conception

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon: This is one big Cabernet and a beautiful wine. On the nose, the first impression is dark fruit, stewed fruit (figs and plums), and chocolate. The palate follows along in an orderly fashion, giving up more of the dark, rich fruit flavours and adding some smoky tobacco leaf elements. There’s lots of tannins left to hold the fruit in check for some time, and the finish on this one keeps giving up fruit for a long time. Makes me think I should start putting a rating scale on these reviews – like *** (out of ***)!

2007 Meritage: I picked up a couple bottles of this last summer (added to my shipment) so I was really interested to see what it tasted like and how “ready” it was. Did I mention we like to collect wine as much as we like to consume it? This was another big fruit driven wine, but everything held in check in a much more European style. Nothing flabby or sugary – just layers of luscious fruit (fig, plum, cassis) and spice that kept impressing. There’s lots of hints from the oaking with caramel and vanilla notes that keep intriguing. There’s a bit of heat and spice on the finish – pepper and a trace of smoke from the toasted oak. I think I will open one soon and hold the other for a few more years.

Fielding Estate Winery 2007 Meritage

2010 Cabernet Franc: So this wine wasn’t out when we stopped in on Thursday. After winning ‘Best Cabernet Franc’ at Cuvée, they pulled this one onto the floor so we had to stop on the way home and pick up a couple of bottles. We didn’t sample it, but given that I am a bit of a Cab Franc lover it didn’t matter. I did get around to opening one as I wrote this article, so you get a bonus review! 🙂 With a nose of raspberry, blackberry, and vanilla, I also detect light notes of a spicy pepper – more like a jalapeno. On the mouth it is more cherry and dark chocolate, smoky spices, and a lingering finish of dark cherry and vanilla. It has fairly high acidity and tannins but remains smooth even at this young age, and only will integrate further with a few more months in the bottle. Watch for the official release later this year.

Fielding Estate Winery 2010 Cabernet Franc

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