Valentine’s Day was yesterday and I was amazed at how many couples were out and about tasting wine. It was fun to see people taking time off work to spend it with each other. One of the perks of working in a tasting room is the ability to meet people, get to know them and recommend amazing wines to help them to remember their tasting. It’s even more fun when you are able to recommend recipes to help make their special day even more so.
This month we are featuring our 2013 The Canyons Red Wine. It’s a delicious blend of mostly Cabernet with some Malbec, sourced completely from The Canyons vineyard on the northwest slope of Red Mountain. It’s wonderful by itself but paired with something spicy, it really shines.
Try it with the Paella from Tyler Florence and it’s a match made in heaven.
For dessert, chocolate is always a classic choice. It can be tricky pairing chocolate with wine so make sure you choose a dark chocolate - sweet chocolate taken with red wine will turn bitter and sour! For more on the science behind this, check this blog post from Palate Press out.
Choose a Flourless Chocolate Torte (recipe below) or some simple artisan chocolates for the perfect finale. Both are rich and delicious and are a wonderful way to end to your romantic meal.
1 ¾ sticks butter
7 oz blanched toasted almonds
6 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 large eggs, seperated
1 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar (added to egg whites)
Preheat oven to 300F.
Melt butter and let cool. Grind almonds and chocolate together in food processor. Slowly add the butter to chocolate mixture. Beat the egg yolks and sugar until thick. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg/sugar mixture. Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until they reach stiff peaks. Fold into the chocolate almond mixture. Pour into 8 inch spring form pan.
Bake for 50 minutes, cool on rack. Dust with cocoa powder and powdered sugar.
This last month I had the pleasure of touring the Seguin Moreau Cooperage in Napa. First, to be able to do this is beyond amazing, so thank you to Fidelitas and Seguin Moreau for your generosity and allowing me to take a million photos.
Barrels are an essential tool to the winemaking process. The largest take away was that the entire barrel is used during the build, that everything from the left behind scraps are used to start the fires for toasting, this is to help maintain consistency.
At Fidelitas we are purchasing mostly French Oak and American Oak and using a medium-medium plus toasting. This is always dependent on Charlie’s preference and the expression of the wine.
The winemaker will order barrels to their specification and these guys handle the rest. If you notice the gentleman in the above photo he is hammering down the toasting hoops and rotating each barrel around the fire to ensure the proper toasting is achieved. We had the pleasure of smelling inside the barrels right after they had been removed from the fires. The most intoxicating aromas of fresh baked bread!
Then, after the barrels have slightly cooled they are then laid and start making their way to have the toasting hoops removed and replaced with galvanized steel hoops.
Then, the tops are laser cut to fit each barrel. Doesn’t it look like a giant stack of toasty, cookies?
Since French Oak is so delicate reeds are then woven in between the slats to prevent leaking. Then, the barrels move into the final stages, everything is then tightened, sanded, stamped and sealed.
As we begin to release our first club wines of the year we can’t help but cherish the tools that go into crafting each glass of wine.
This is a post from last year (add a year to the marriage ticker). However, as we come in to the season of love and fidelity, it seems like a wonderful time to share the story of Fidelitas once again. May your Februarys be full of someone who is faithful, loyal, and true, tasty wines, and a few paper hearts.
Where do these words come from?
Translated from Latin, Fidelitas means faithful, loyal, and true. Think about the word fidelity and it starts to make sense. Ponder our logo, realize the circle is not an O, it’s a ring or circle of fidelity, and it makes a bit more sense. Know Charlie Hoppes and it all comes together.
Charlie and his wife, Terri, have been married for 33 years. They started their family as Charlie started his winemaking career. When they launched their own family winery in 2000, Charlie looked to Terri’s family for the name, settling on Fidelis (extended to Fidelitas). Like his winemaking style, Charlie’s approach to life is simple and pure. Honor those who are important to you, respect everyone, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Knowing him is knowing what it is to be faithful, loyal, and true.
Charlie, Terri, and their first daughter, Emily. Photo taken within the year Charlie first discovered Red Mountain fruit.
I don’t say all of these nice thing about my boss because my annual review is coming up, but because these 3 words have truly permeated all aspects of our business. We are faithful to grape varieties from the Bordeaux region of France (with a particular soft spot for Cabernet Sauvignon), loyal to modern craft winemaking techniques, and true to Red Mountain’s unique terroir. My team here aims to show everyone how they are faithful, loyal, and true through the relationships we have with visitors, members, and one another.
Each February, we celebrate the region we call home: Red Mountain. We host special tastings of our Red Mountain wines, and offer our customers the chance to stock up on some truly special releases. We hope that you’ll join us in the tasting rooms, or bring some Red Mountain in to your home so you can celebrate being faithful, loyal, and true along with us.
I know there are some devastated Seahawks fans that will be reading this but no matter who is playing in the Super Bowl, it’s always a great time! I thought it might be fun to share some wine friendly appetizers that I am sure most people will enjoy.
Pairing: 2015 Klipsun Vineyard Optu White
Pairing: 2013 Ciel du Cheval Merlot
Pairing: NEW 2014 Red Mountain Malbec
Pairing: 2013 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
Who will you be rooting for? My husband finally has his time to shine since his home team, the Falcons will be playing! We wish you a fun and happy Superbowl Sunday!
Please note that both tasting rooms will be closed on Sunday, February 5th.
After a long spout of winter weather bringing us down there could be no better way to kick off the year (and shake off the winter blues) than with the arrival of our first release, the 2014 Red Mountain Malbec.
I’ll put in my vote in for this wine being one of the most versatile wines in our line up considering I’ve literally never met someone who didn’t like it! Whether it’s enjoyed at parties, paired alongside exquisite meals, or if you enjoy it by the glassful after a long day you’re sure to find a consistent pleasure.
While I’m guilty of skipping over tasting notes half the time and going straight in to taste the wine for myself, I couldn’t help but find the notes for our 2014 vintage to paint the perfect description for this wine.
“Red Mountain Malbec, the Fidelitas fan favorite in the phantom bottle, is sourced from a few of our favorite Malbec vineyards on Red Mountain.” Isn’t that the truth? This 100% Malbec is a blend from Scooteney Flats and Kiona Vineyards both of which are our neighbors on Red Mountain. Scooteney is known for its course soil and concentrated grapes, and Kiona for some of the more mature vines on the mountain.
“True to the varietal, this wine gives us loads of fruit tones: Aromas of blueberry, marionberry, cocoa, and white pepper swirl in the glass, met by blackberry, marjoram, roses, and vanilla.” Tell me this doesn’t make your mouth water for a big glass of the stuff? Better yet, pair it alongside this Balsamic Roasted Berry Bruschetta (made with burrata which I’ve been catching on more and more restaurant menus recently, and I am definitely not mad about it).
“Even more fruit on the palate provides a juicy and soft mouthfeel for easy enjoyment.” I’d say this is the perfect line to describe Fidelitas Malbec. Juicy fruit, balanced tannins, and a bold spice hit your pallet in perfect harmony which makes it such a crowd pleaser.
Click here to read the tasting notes in full or to order this wine for pick up or FREE SHIPPING through January 31.
Happy New Year!
I love January. It’s always a fresh new start, a time of change, a time of reboot. January is also a great time to get your wine cellar organized! From the make/model you choose, to the method in which you keep track of your wines, there are many aspects to think of when considering a wine cellar.
First and foremost, your wines should maintain a steady temperature. 55-59° F is the optimal temperature range along with 55-75% RH for storing wine. Fun temperature facts: wine will age 4 times faster if stored in a closet or pantry! We know that 55°F is optimal. 46°F is entering the danger zone on the cold side and wine freezes at 32°F. Wine enters the danger zone on the warm side at 70°F and is cooked at 82°F.
There are many types of wine cellars in a wide range of prices that will do a great job of keeping your wine at an optimal temperature. A simple search on Google using “Wine Fridge” will bring up a vast array of choices from popular stores such as Best Buy, Amazon, and Home Depot. Choose one that fits your budget and your drinking habits.
Ok, you have the wine cellar, now how are you going to keep track of your wines? If you’re Excel savvy, a spreadsheet listing vintage, varietal, price and tasting notes will do you just fine. If you’re tech savvy, there are several apps out there that will do a great job of keeping your wines in line. Vivino and Cellar Tracker are available both on iOS and Android. Vivino (iOS Android) allows you to scan your wine, save them to your cellar and find food pairings and ratings. They are also fantastic when it comes to socialness. Cellar Tracker (iOS Android)also allows you to scan your wines and add them to your cellar. I’ve found Cellar Tracker to be a tad more user-friendly when inventorying your wines.
You have your cellar and your tracking app, now you need to fill your cellar! Fidélitas can certainly help you with that. Our Product Spotlight this month is our Restock the Cellar promo. We have fantastic pricing on 6-packs of 2015 Klipsun Semillon and 2013 Optu Red Mountain. The case price on our 2013 4040 Red Wine is a steal – definitely stock up on this one! These prices are so amazing that we are only offering them until January 15th, so hurry if you want to take advantage!
As many of us have experienced the warm summer heat that comes from summer in Eastern Washington it’s hard to picture what Red Mountain can look like in the winter. Well folks, if you can believe it we have snow on the mountain and we have photos to prove it! Personally, I have been enjoying the blanket of snow that is surrounding the region we call home however, with the start of January it’s hard not to dream about what’s to come this year and that means warmer weather for some of us and amazing newly released wines of course!
Dear Friends of Fidelitas:
As 2016 draws to a close, I wanted to take a brief moment to thank all of you who are so supportive of Fidelitas. Plain and simple, we would not exist if it were not for all of you, our faithful, loyal, and true customers.
In the past year, we saw the release of some really great, 2013 vintage red wines. As I mentioned last year, I thought that maybe the 2013 vintage was one of my favorites since I started Fidelitas with the 2000 vintage. That still holds true after tasting these wines throughout the year. These 2013 reds will continue to improve as they age out a little more, and have not yet reached their peak by any means. The Canyons Vineyard Red and Malbec from Red Mountain were great new additions to our releases for the vintage. We look forward to continuing those wines into the future.
This coming year will see a couple of new products to our lineup. For the first time, we will make a very limited amount of Malbec from The Canyons Vineyard. Look for this wine to be released in August (with a sneak peek during Malbec Madness in January). We will also have the first release of Blackwood Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon. These vines were initially planted in 1984 and border our own Estate vineyard just to the west. The depth and intensity of this wine is incredible and we look forward to its release in April. We hope the quality of this wine is an indication of what we can look forward to in the Fidelitas Estate Vineyard. One other highlight of the upcoming year will be the release of our last vintage of Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. We started making Cabernet Sauvignon from this iconic vineyard in 2002. This release will be our thirteenth and final vintage. As many of you know, Paul and Judy Champoux have retired, and we retired from the vineyard as well to focus on Red Mountain fruit.
2017 will be the first vintage we will get fruit from our new Estate planting. It will be a very small amount but we are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for us. The newest 9-acres of Fidelitas Estate has Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. We will have a total of six different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon in production, so it should be quite interesting.
I always have people asking about how our most recent vintage, 2016 turned out. I think it is one of our more unique vintages in Washington. The year started off looking like it was going to be another very warm vintage, but starting in the summer months the weather mirrored what would be a normal year. This meant less extremely hot days and a slow even ripening of the fruit into September and October. We did see a slightly higher than normal yield with exceptional quality. The uniqueness of the vintage is that even with higher than average yields, we saw above average quality. That very rarely happens.
In closing, I would like to publicly take a moment to thank each and every person that works for Fidelitas. Although I have met many of our customers over the years, all of you have had an interaction with somebody from our organization at some time or another. These wonderful people are the voice of Fidelitas. Without them telling our story we would just be another brand. Thanks again for all your support. Cheers to 2016!
Fidelitas, Owner + Winemaker
The Holidays are rapidly approaching, are you ready? Fidéiltas is and we are here to help you with all of your gifting needs. Our elves in Woodinville and on Red Mountain have been busy creating the perfect presents for those hard to purchase for folks on your list.
We have gift packs aplenty for the wine aficionado along with beautifully wrapped single bottles that are the perfect hostess gift for any of the Holiday parties you’ll attend.
Go Big for the Holidays this year with Fidélitas Large Formats! We have all your favorites, including 2013 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 Ciel du Cheval Cabernet Sauvignon (in both 3L and Magnum!) and 2013 Optu Red Mountain. You will be the star of the party when you arrive with one of these!
Perhaps you’re looking for a gift that will continue to give throughout the year. Our wine club gift membership fits the bill and gives your recipient the best of the best for the upcoming year! Giving a gift membership is easy, simply select the level you would like and click “gift” when you are signing up.
Our elves over on Red Mountain are busy at work and ready to ship gift wrapped wines to wherever you need them to go. They work extraordinarily hard during the holidays – we are so thankful for them!
If you need to take advantage of Santa’s delivery service outside of the Pacific Northwest, please have your requests to our elves no later than Monday December 19th. For orders going within the Pacific Northwest, Tuesday, December 20th is the last day.
For those last minute gifts, our elves in Woodinville and on Red Mountain will have wrapped bottles and gift packs available that can be easily picked up as you are heading out. Please remember that we are closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
We here at Fidélitas would like to wish you the Happiest of Holidays and we look forward to seeing you soon!