When you first pop open one of our 2015 Red releases you may notice something a little different about the cork. We’ve switched from our traditionally used “bleached” cork (pictured on the left) to a more natural wash (right). As some of the industry is switching to screwcaps, synthetics, and other ways to seal off their bottles, we’ve taken a step back to a more classic look.
While taking a step back on appearance, we’ve made a simultaneous technological leap forward on performance. Chances are if you’ve been drinking Fidélitas long enough you’ve heard our mantra of being Faithful to Bordeaux grape varieties, Loyal to modern craft winemaking techniques, and True to Washington State's Red Mountain terroir. The switch to Portocork’s new Icon Certified closures is the perfect example of our dedication to modern craft winemaking, and as my dad put it: “a step closer in delivering the perfect bottle of wine.” We pride ourselves in not being tied to tradition and switching if something comes along that will help us make better wine.
Charlie's trip to the cork capital of the world: Portugal
Natural corks have been the choice of winemakers for centuries due to their ability to let in just the right amount of oxygen allowing wine to age properly (info on diffusion vs. permeation). Problems with natural cork material causing the switch to the other types of closures is 1) the chemical compound 2,4,6 Trichloroanisole (TCA) may be present causing cork taint – the unpleasant wet cardboard or musty basement smell we’ve all experienced or 2) inconsistent density – a good example of this is opening an older bottle of wine which should be aged perfectly, however you pull out a squishy cork, too much oxygen has been let through, and the wine is prematurely past its prime.
Thanks to advancements by our supplying partner, Portocork, we have put these natural cork problems in the past. Their NDtech screening method along with other quality controls “effectively eliminates the risk of cork taint” by getting rid of any corks that have TCA content above the human detection threshold of 0.5 nanograms/liter + each cork density is tested for consistency in aging.
Hopefully you'll stop to appreciate all the work that went in to something as simple-looking as a wine cork the next time you open up a bottle of Fidélitas.
Cheers to the pursuit of Red Mountain Wine perfection,
2016 Red Mountain Optu White Wine $125/6-pack (that’s only $20.83/bottle reg. $30)
a perfectly balanced sauvignon blanc and semillon blend
2014 Red Mountain 4040 Red Wine $255/case (that’s only $21.25/bottle reg. $30)
team fidelitas' favorite weeknight wine
2014 Optu Red Mountain SOLD OUT
while inventory lasts! only 20 cases remain of the 'wine that started it all'
Act fast! Prices are good through January 14.
Dear Friends of Fidelitas:
2017 proved to be a great year for Fidelitas. The Fidelitas Estate Vineyard is continuing to develop, and the other vineyards we source fruit from on Red Mountain are outstanding. The future looks bright for the wines we will continue to make.
This fall, in addition to pulling fruit from the 2009 planting, we were able to harvest a little bit from our 2015 Estate Vineyard planting. We are eager to see how these young wines mature over the months ahead. Also in September, we released our third Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2014. If these first three vintages are any indication of the future of our Estate, then the future looks good. I have been very happy with the wines we have made from our own vineyard. With 2014 being one of the warmest vintages on record, we really looked to make these wines very consistent and a true reflection of Red Mountain.
We also released our last wine ever for Fidelitas from Champoux Vineyard, closing a long term working relationship with Paul and Judy Champoux. With Paul’s retirement following the 2014 vintage, we decided this would be the last Champoux Vineyard wine we would make. This is, to say the least, the end of an era for Fidelitas. We made our first Champoux Cabernet Sauvignon in 2002. In total, we made 27 wines from 13 vintages from Champoux Vineyard. Many of you enjoyed these wines over the years when we expanded our offerings to Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon from Block 1 and our Cabernet Franc based blend we called Magna. Paul and Judy have been great to work with over the years and we all will have lasting memories every time we open these wines from our cellars. Check with any of our team members to see what might still be available from Champoux Vineyard.
Looking forward to 2018, we have many great wines we are extremely excited about from the 2015 vintage of red wines as well as some very unique 2017 white wines to look forward to. As many of you know, we make wines from many sites on Red Mountain, giving us a great cross section of what the mountain has to offer. A few highlights of exciting new offers we will have in the upcoming year will include a 2015 Old Vine Merlot from Ciel Du Cheval and Kiona Vineyards. This wine comes from some of the first plantings on Red Mountain from both the Holmes and Williams families from the mid-1970s. We feel fortunate to have been able to source this fruit and look forward to sharing this with all of you. 2015 will also be the first vintage of Malbec sourced from Quintessence Vineyard. We currently make a Cabernet Sauvignon for this vineyard as well as limited release Sauvignon Blanc. Having the Malbec will be a nice addition. I have had a chance recently to go back and try some of the upcoming 2015 vintage releases and am looking forward to sharing some really stellar wines.
As always, we aim to continually try and improve our wines from Fidelitas. We continue to experiment with oak fermentation, use new barrels we have never worked with before and pushing the envelope in winemaking to continually improve.
Fidelitas exists as a winery because of our faithful customers. Thank you for your continued support. Many of you have been with us from our very first vintages and we truly appreciate your loyalty. We are All in on Red Mountain!
This year was one of the best we've ever had in my opinion! From a crazy winter on Red Mountain, to releasing our first vintage of a Sauvignon Blanc. We celebrated 10 Years of calling Red Mountain our home in May. We made some minor upgrades to our Red Mountain Tasting room, we added a library room complete with all of our favorite vintages dating back to 2000.
During the warmer months we celebrated the year by taking a minute to enjoy the stunning views that over look our Fidelitas Estate Vineyard. It's crazy to think how smoky it was this year and how fortunate we are to work in such a supportive industry within Washington and the country. Summer wouldn't be complete without our Feast of St. Fidelis and Summer in the City events that feature our favorite Fidelitas wines and the perfect pairing of, That Guy Catering Tacos.
We've ended the year with stunning sunsets, no snow and enjoying the last of the 2014 vintage. This September marked our 3rd Annual Estate Dinner and one of the best ones yet, the sunset was unbelievable. All of our 2017 wines are tucked away for the winter and we are patiently waiting for next years release, that includes some soon to be new favorites like, the 2015 Old Vine Merlot and the 2015 Quintessence Malbec.
Cheers to 2017!
As the year winds down and plans are being made to get together with family for the holidays, I thought I'd take a look back at my year and journey coming back to Fidelitas. I get asked in the tasting how long I've worked for Fidelitas, and I can proudly say that one of my first memories is placing capsules on the first run of 2000 Meritage - I still need to dig those pictures out of the basement. Anyways, here's a small sample of what is hopefully many more vintages, long days at the cellar and tasting room, and many more bottles of Fidelitas!
Working Harvest 2016 in the Willamette Valley
January barrel tasting at Wine Boss
Finding gems like this in my dad's cellar - 2005 Red Mountain Merlot - one of the first Red Mountain wines Fidelitas ever made.
Market research in Santa Barbara
Celebrating a birthday with my 2 favorites at Rione XIII - Jessica, and 2014 Blackwood Canyon Cab.
Tasting some Heitz Cellar Martha's Vineyard Cab alongside the original 2012 Fidelitas Estate Cab - everyone seems pretty happy.
Staff vineyard tours at Kiona.
Washington Barrel Auction with some WA wine legends.
Checking out Quintessence Cab a couple weeks before harvest.
Wine and Pines event at Swiftwater Cellars, Suncadia.
Top 10 meals of all time - 2012 Champoux Block One with Bizarro Cafe meatballs.
Happy Holidays from Team Fidelitas!
Once again, the dynamic Club Team is on call to assist you with your holiday gifting needs!
Introducing your Club Concierge Team:
Michelle Marsh (left) + Skye Dissette (right)
We're here to help with anything you bring to us! Even recipe ideas for holiday entertaining or deciding what wine will pair best with irksome in-laws.
Need something special shipped to your cousins across country, no problem! We'll even wrap it up in shimmering paper, tie it with a bow, hand write your gift note, and ensure that we ship it to arrive on time.
Trying to come up with a gift that keeps on giving for that special someone who deserves something special all year round...look no further! We'll help you set up a customized gift Wine Club Membership.
Know someone who is already a Fidelitas fan and want to pick out something unique? We'll gladly ponder their wine history to see what their favorites are and dig around in our Library for something comparable or find a Large format they will enjoy.
Did you know that we'll even hand deliver local gifts for you? We pack up the trusty Subaru with cases of wine and find our way to your office to give those hardworking employees of yours a gift they will be sure to enjoy.
We even have something for the novice wine drinker!
Contact your Concierge Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509.554.9191
Not planning any holiday giving? That’s okay! Drop us a note just to say hello, it would make our day!
It’s hard working in the wine industry. Especially during the holidays.
When I arrive at a holiday party, I know the hostess is looking for that special bottle to add to the bar. My hair stylist, nanny, and neighbors, are all a little too excited to see me as the holidays near. Everyone tells me “oh…but you have the good wine” and are secretly hoping that I might gift a bottle. It’s a good problem to have (people like Fidelitas!) but a problem, still.
And so, I’ve gotten good at stacking my case purchases with the right mix of wines for the season. Here is my shopping list this year:
4040 Red Wine and Optu White on hand…always. These are the ones that are nice to have wrapped and ready so I can gift a quick bottle to my daughter’s teachers, or whoever I come across that needs a last minute gift from us. (4040 is available by special request!)
Optu Red Mountain for hostess gifts. This is a crowd pleaser wine. It’ll drink great the night of a holiday party, or will age beautifully if your host decides to cellar it instead of sharing.
A couple of magnums (ESTATE! And probably some Optu) for those on my list who “have it all”. Magnums are always impressive, even for someone with a giant wine collection. They are great at parties, or are amazing additions to anyone’s cellar.
I love to plan ahead and grab a few cases early, so that wine is always on hand and ready to pass out. Of course, I always make sure to grab a couple extra bottles to keep around the house so I can gave a glass in front of the tree!
As many of you know, Charlie makes one delicious Late Harvest Semillon. If you’re sitting there thinking “What? I had no idea!”, we won’t blame you. This wine rarely makes it onto the tasting bar mainly because we don’t produce a lot of it and love to have it around for special occasions, like the holidays!
Charlie leaves the grapes on the vines longer than you normally would, so that they develop more sugar and become much more concentrated. Look at it this way. Charlie brought in fruit for our dry Semillon on Sunday, September 10th. For our Late Harvest Semillon, he picked the fruit on Tuesday, November 21. Over two months later! I mentioned that we don’t typically pour this in the tasting room because not a lot is produced, roughly 50 cases, but it’s also a little more difficult to produce. Charlie takes a big risk leaving the grapes on the vines that long and the overall winemaking process is more delicate. Therefore, he has only released one vintage, soon to be two!
Why bring it along for the holidays? Our Late Harvest Semillon pairs wonderfully with dessert! A small sip with every bite of that tart or pie is just what you need to end your holiday feasting. It’s also great to sip on with any cheese plate. Trust me, you’ll love it!
Our 2013 vintage is still available on our website or in the tasting rooms.
Everyone at Team Fidelitas hopes you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!
Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays and my big task is always bringing the wine to share with my friends and family. Whether it’s’ serving a wine with each course or giving a bottle to a dinner host, these wines are the perfect accompaniment for the holiday season.
In my opinion should be taken everywhere this year. It’s the perfect “red wine drinkers white,” a bright and crisp wine to share while putting the final touches on the meal and lastly it pairs beautifully with turkey. The Optu White Wine is balanced and has a great viscosity and mouthfeel. The long finish and balanced acidity are what give the wine is signature characteristics allowing it to be a staple for festive holiday dinners.
I wait all year for this wine and every year I make sure to share it during Thanksgiving, my family has begun to ask for it by name. If you’re making the dinner rounds this year, this wine is a great to share with a crowd. If you finished the Optu White before dinner not to worry, the Ciel du Cheval Merlot is a dense and herbaceous wine that grabs all those spices and herbs from the turkey and stuffing. This wine showcases aromas of brown sugar and baking spice with a smooth intake, polished tannins and a lengthy finish. The Ciel du Cheval Merlot is a seamless wine for dinner or even after as you avoid doing those dishes.
Dinner wouldn’t be complete at Fidelitas without our favorite varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon. As herbal notes of dried sage lift from the glass we can’t help but make the Quintessence Cabernet a signature wine this time of year. To be honest, I am usually hoarding this wine all to myself, but if you going to a wine lover’s home this wine is sure to be a showstopper. As it aged in French oak, this old-world style Cabernet uses clones 169 and 191. This wine is a gem that shines through the glass and it’s best enjoyed with the main course.
And just like that, the 2017 harvest is done. The grapes brought in were lovingly turned in to some top notch juice, and are now nestled in to their barrels to rest for a bit. We saw our first fruit of the season, Sauvignon Blanc and then Semillon, come in from Klipsun Vineyard just after Labor Day. Reds started to come in just after that. Mostly from the eastern facing Quintessence Vineyard, but we worked our way west with the sun, and finished up by picking our own Fidelitas Estate Vineyard in mid-October. It is wonderful and challenging to have all of our fruit from the smallest, and warmest, AVA in the state. Everything ripens at about the same time, all vying for space in the cellar. Charlie and his crew worked around the clock to keep things moving along, and just took their first weekend off a few days ago.
A special shout out to Charlie, who just completed his 30th harvest in Washington state. His first winemaking job, fresh out of UC Davis, was at the start of crush in 1988 at Langguth/Saddle Mountain, and he’s never looked back. We have just a handful of winemakers in Washington nowadays who can claim three decades, and I’m proud to be working with one of them. When I asked him about this 2017 harvest, here is what he said: