Winemaker Charlie Hoppes has contributed to the success of a number of Northwest wineries including Canon de Sol, Goose Ridge and Zefina, to name a few. He’s also the owner of Fideltas Wines, which has several outstanding current releases that come highly recommended by wine critics and consumers alike.
Earlier this month, I visited with Hoppes’ brother, Loren, who is co-owner and general manager of the Fideltas temporary tasting room in Eastern Washington’s Red Mountain Appellation. A new facility is scheduled to open in the spring of 2007 in the heart of one of the Pacific Northwest’s premier grape growing regions.
Some of my favorite wines that were sampled during the visit included the 2005 Semillon (about $19), a wonderfully balanced white wine with flavors of pear and citrus and subtle traces of oak on the finish. The 2004 Malbec (about $35) is incredibly unique, with aromas and flavors of rose petals, combined with plum, mocha and a bit of spice. Produced in extremely small quantities, this is one red wine worth searching for.
The 2003 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon (about $42) is another winner, with a lovely vanilla bouquet followed by intense flavors of cherry and chocolate. And the 2003 Optu Red Wine (about $44) is in a class by itself. This blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc is the product of seven, first-class Washington vineyards. Dense and complex, the wine features loads of dark berry and cherry flavors backed by a lengthy, toasty oak finish.
Fidelitas wines are fairly well distributed at wine shops and grocers in the Bellingham area. You can also purchase them at Compass Wines in Anacortes or online at www.fideltiaswines.com.