Savvy Selections wine of the month club
Featuring Fielding Estate Winery
– August 2012 –
Outstanding Riesling, Pinot Gris and Meritage and down home hospitality are what come to mind when we think of Fielding Estate Winery located on the Beamsville Bench (Niagara Escarpment). Twelve years and countless awards later, the Fielding family is continuing to work their magic in the vineyards. It is no wonder that Fielding has been named among Canada’s Top 10 wineries. In the following pages, Savvy Sommelier Julie will tell you some of the reasons why.
Julie caught up with Heidi Fielding when she was visiting Ottawa for an interview by CTV for the annual Graze the Bench that runs on June 9 & 10th to celebrate the growing season. Good wine paired with delicious hors d’oeuvres flowed all weekend. At Fielding, Pulled Duck Sliders with Warm Potato Salad created by August Restaurant was served at the winery paired with Fielding’s Sauvignon Blanc VQA 2011 and Cabernet Franc VQA 2010.
It’s only August but are you starting to think about a dinner party this fall with all of the fresh produce? We can make it easy for you with this month’s Savvy Selections. At the panel tasting, our Savvy Sommeliers easily agreed that Fielding Estates wines are top-notch & we are excited to introduce you to them this month.
In your Savvy Selections, you will find:
Fielding Estate Sparkling Riesling VQA – joy in a glass!
Fielding Estate Vineyard Rock Pile Pinot Gris VQA 2011 – refreshing & simply outstanding
Fielding Estate Meritage VQA 2007 – stunning is an understatement
OPTIONAL WINE: Fielding Estate Cabernet Sauvignon VQA $34.95 regularly $44.95
In the following pages of this Savvy eZine, Julie shares history about the family run business along with the Savvy Selections tasting panel’s notes with a dinner party in mind.
Outstanding wine & prices
Fielding Estates has offered us $35 off the regular prices of their featured wines in this month’s Savvy Selections. Once you have opened them & would like to have additional bottles, contact me directly to re-order. Heads up that there are only a few bottles of the Pinot Gris left and by the time I finish this sentence, they may all be gone! In any case, contact me & I will gladly make the arrangements for additional Fielding or other Ontario wineries that we have featured to be delivered to your home, office…or even cottage!
Save the date: Thursday November 8th
You are the first to know! Our 5th annual Savvy Sip, Swirl, Savour & Selebrate wine evening will feature winemakers who we have showcase in the Savvy Selections. This fun reception style event will take place again this year at the National Arts Centre on Thursday November 8th. This is our annual wine tasting party to celebrate our 9th year in business with you & our winery clients. For now, pencil the date into your calendar…more details to come!
From all of us at Savvy Company, we thank you for continuing to be a subscriber to Savvy Selections.
Cheers & Enjoy!
Debbie & Savvy Team
Fielding Estate Winery
Presented by Savvy Sommelier Julie Stock
In year 2000, Ken & Marg Fielding, purchased 53 acres of peach & pear orchards. While recently retired, their sole intention was to plant grapes & building a winery. Looking back 12 years later with their son Curtis (right), a former race car driver & his wife Heidi (left), the family have seen the vineyards have come to fruition. The winery is a family affair & most importantly, Ritchie Richards, whom the family had known for years prior to joining Fielding, is now the talented & highly awarded winemaker.
The property was first planted with Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah vines. In 2002, the harvest was small, but the results proved rewarding. In 2003, Mother Nature blasted Ontario with a harsh winter. No doubt as an apology, 2004 was a fabulous year & the Fielding family produced their largest harvest of approximately 8000 cases of wine. At this point, they were well on their way to producing premium wines, not to mention winning impressive Canadian wine awards.
My husband, Doug, (also a Sommelier on the Savvy Team) & I met up with the whole family in June while doing our annual Niagara pilgrimage. We were toured around the nooks & corners of the winery like royalty.
Ritchie works his magic!
Educated at nearby Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology & Viticulture Institute, Ritchie honed his experience at other local Niagara wineries – one being Stratus Vineyards – before being hailed to Fielding. Mark my words that we will be reading about Ritchie’s talent for a long time to come. He believes in extrapolating the best of the unique characteristics of the soil & climate. With each sip, you will recognize his talent too. It is no wonder that Ritchie’s took home a motherload of medals at this year’s Cuvee (Ontario wine industry’s equivalent of Academy Awards) including Gold for his Estate Bottled Pinot Gris VQA 2010, Viognier VQA 2010 & Cabernet Franc VQA 2010. Congrats Ritchie!
Fielding has two main vineyards – The Jack Rabbits Flats Vineyard on the Lincoln Lakeshore sub-appellation comprises 40 acres of stoney deposits in sandy loam soil which holds the warmth of sun exposure. Curtis & Heidi explained that the red grape varieties do really well on this parcel of land giving the wines a complexity of rich dark fruit flavours. From this vineyard, they won the Cuvee 2012 Gold medals for their 2009 Red Conception & 2012 Cabernet Franc. As well, they explained the white Pinot Gris grapes also develop very impressive flavours from this mature soil. As an aside, I asked where the name “Jack Rabbits” comes from & they laughingly said “well aside from there used to be the tons of jack rabbits in the vicinity, it used to be a “parking spot”, at which they smiled & left the rest to my imagination. Similar story for the reason the wine is called Conception.
The other 13 acres – called the Fielding Vineyard – are located on the eastern slope of the Beamsville Bench. The bench provides clay loam soil with a deep limestone base to promote good natural drainage. The growing season is a little longer & more suited to Riesling; the wine ultimately features the unmistakable crisp minerality of their birthplace. This seems like the right time to mention that in 2010 their Riesling was in named one of the top ten wines in Canada. Congrats!
Hot enough for ya?
The most asked question at wineries this summer is the impact of the unforgiving heat. As Heidi put it, “we are not committed to doing one particular method with any one varietal, rather we will do the best to showcase the grapes in any given year & see how it all turns it out.” That is the beauty of winemaking.
We had not been long at the winery before we start to feel like part of the extended family. Heidi’s infectious warm personality is so representative of the Fielding hospitality. From ‘The Lodge’, on a clear day, you can see Toronto beyond Lake Ontario, yet it is easy to feel like you are in the Haliburtons comfortably sitting in their infamous Muskoka chairs on the grounds as well as on their wine label – all in effort to depict a relaxed style of the Fieldings. Hiedi sums it up best, “when people come to visit our winery, we want their experience to be fulfilling & leave with a wonderful and memorable experience.” I can assure Heidi, Curtis, Marg & Ken that a visit to their winery, left Doug & I with great memories & a closer connection to the Fielding family & their wines. Cheers!
Discoveries in the cellar
When touring the cellars at Fielding Winery, amongst the typial stacks of French & American oak barrels, Doug & I also saw something amazing, not before seen in our wine travels. Three stainless steel tanks on top of one another each containing about 26,000 litres of different wine. The picture does not do it justice but it was quite a sight!
~ SAVVY SOMMELIER TASTING NOTES ~
Sparkling Riesling Brut VQA Ontario, $27.95
We often see the term “charmat method” on bottles of sparkling white wine. Similar to the way that Champagne is made in France, the charmat method is basically taking the grape juice through two fermentations. The first one turns the grape juice into wine (without bubbles), the second fermentation takes place in large stainless steel pressurized containers or tanks which, when the winemaker adds yeast and sugar to the wine this create carbon dioxide (CO2) which in turn creates the bubbles. The tiny bubbles create a “mousse” and can give the wine a yeasty and toasty mouthfeel. The charmat method receives its’ name after a Frenchman named Eugene Charmat who invented the process.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: No doubt about it, all the Savvy Sommeliers were impressed with this “sparkler”. Pale gold, bright and clear with aromas of honey and pear, peaches and almonds. The aromas follow through on the palate with a pinch of minerality, petrol and lemon drop candies. The wine is dry and well-balanced. It has beautiful acidity with fruit flavours that linger in the aftertaste.
Suggested Food Pairing: The Savvy team had no difficulty matching this with all kinds of appetizers or just enjoying it on its own. Proscuitto wrapped melon, salty crisps, sushi, puff pastry bites, buttery lobster all came to mind.
Cellaring: No need to wait for a special occasion – uncork now!
Fielding Estate Rock Pile 2011 Pinot Gris VQA, $24.95
There is a distinct pile of stones in the Jack Rabbit Flats Vineyard that marks a mature block of Pinot Gris vines, planted nearly 20 years ago. Although the vines are low-yielding they are carefully hand-picked which results in a wine full of character.
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: This golden hued baby was reminiscent of tropical fruit; peaches, pears, bananas, pineapple and was unlike any other Pinot Gris’s we have tasted in the past. There is alot happening in the medium body wine that sip after sip brought more to the surface and the crisp acidity brought out lemon-lime flavours. The wine is slightly off-dry with an aftertaste of butterscotch that reminded one Savvy sommelier of luscious icing covered Turkish delight candy on the finish. We urge you not to serve this beauty too cold since the flavours open up like a flower after it has sat for awhile. Take it from the fridge about 15 minutes prior to serving – simply yummy!
Suggested Food Pairing: There were umpteen food ideas that came to mind to the point we were all getting hungry! There is enough body in the wine to handle grilled pork tenderloin with a fruit salsa, plank salmon, or a summer salad with seafood. The flavours make it so versatile that we even thought it would even be delicious with lemon meringue pie. Definitely a wine for all seasons.
Cellaring: Again…no reason to wait. Drink now or within the next two years.
Fielding Estate Meritage 2007 VQA Niagara Peninsula, $34.95
(regularly $59.95 – a special discount for Savvy Selections subscribers)
A red Meritage is made from a blend of at least two or more varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, or Petit Verdot with no varietal comprising more than 90% of the blend. In this Meritage, the components of the final blend were vinified separately following eighteen months aging in barrels on lees (winespeak for the grape skins) then selected through a series of tastings and trial blends. It is no surprise this wine received GOLD MEDAL 2009 – Canadian Wine Awards (ranked best red blend in Canada).
Savvy Sommelier Tasting Notes: After one sip, we all looked at each other and went “ummmmmm”, oh my where to start. This blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc sifts aromas of chocolate, warm spices, black plums almost reminiscent of Christmas cake. The velvety silky texture coats the inside of the mouth with fine tannins and luscious dark berry flavours. This full bodied wine is concentrated and complex that finishes with the above flavours plus a hint of coffee and caramel.
Suggested Food Pairings: Prime rib roast beef, beef tenderloin, baby back ribs, steak topped with blue cheese and horseradish all come to mind. It is definitely a red meat wine.
Cellaring: Enjoy now and will drink best 2012 to 2018. Decant in its youth.
~RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH YOUR SAVVY SELECTIONS~
For this month’s selection of recipes we decided to offer you something different …
When the Savvy Sommeliers finally decided on which wines to feature (it was a difficult decision), one said the selected wines would be ideal to serve at a dinner party.
Depending on the size of your dinner party you may want to have more than one bottle of each, but we all thought that the following recipes would make a fabulously elegant dinner party, many of the dishes can be prepared ahead.
We hope you agree and would be thrilled with your feedback.
With Fielding Sparkling Riesling …
From the kitchen of Savvy Sommelier Julie
There are so many versions of this recipe but nothing could be simpler, or more delicious to match with this sparkling wine. The fruity bubbles in the wine compliment the saltiness in the cheese and just send you back nibbling for more. I sometimes serve them a little red pepper jelly on the side.
A perfect hors d’oeuvres – beware, folks inhale these!
1-1/12 cups of grated Parmesan depending how many crisps you would like to make.
Should yield about 20 small crisps.
Preheat often to 400 degrees and put a heaping tablespoon of the Parmesan onto a parchment lined baking sheet. I would space the spoonfuls about an inch apart.
Bake about 8 minutes or check them after 5 and they should be just slightly golden.
With Fielding Rock Pile Pinot Gris …
Arugula & Hazelnut Salad
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white-wine vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each dried thyme leaves and salt
Pinch of granulated sugar
1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil
1/4 cup (50 mL) snipped chives
3 pink grapefruits or tangerines
1 fennel bulb
12 cups baby arugula
6 slices of prosciutto (optional)
3/4 cup (175 mL) toasted hazelnuts
In a bowl, whisk vinegar with Dijon, garlic, thyme, salt and sugar. Slowly whisk in oil and stir in chives.
Cut off the top and bottom of grapefruits then slice off and discard remaining peel, including all white pith. Carefully slice segments out, leaving membrane that separates them behind. Set segments aside and discard membrane.
Trim the feathery fronds from fennel and discard the core & slice fennel into thin strips.
Place arugula, grapefruit segments and fennel in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing. Toss to mix. Divide between plates.
Tear prosciutto and scatter overtop. Sprinkle with hazelnuts.
If making ahead, prepare dressing, fennel and nuts. Dressing will keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 1 week. Cover and refrigerate grapefruit and fennel up to 1 day. Store nuts in an airtight container up to 1 week.
With Fielding Meritage …
Recipe #1 – To serve with the Main Course
Rib Roast with Garlic Mustard Rub
Bonnie Stern’s Friday Night Dinners
TIP: Use a meat thermometer to make sure the roast is cooked to medium-rare. (Don’t take a chance after paying so much for such a gorgeous roast).
1/4 cup (50 mL) Dijon mustard
2 tbsp (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped fresh rosemary; or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme, or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried
1 tbsp (15 mL) kosher salt
1 tbsp (15 mL) pepper
1 6-lb (3 kg) standing rib roast, boneless rib boast or strip sirloin roast
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup (175 mL) dry red wine
1 cup (250 mL) beef stock
In a small bowl, combine mustard, oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and smear roast all over with mustard rub. Then place in a shallow roasting pan, fast side up.
Roast meat in a preheated 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) over for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and continue to roast for 1 1/4 to 2 hours, or until a meat thermometer reaches 130 degrees F (55 degrees C) for medium-rare.
Transfer roast to a cutting board and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
While roast is resting, place roasting pan on stove over medium-high heat and skim off fat. Then add shallots and wine and cook until reduce to 2 tbsp (25 mL) and add stock and cook until reduced to a 1/2 cup (125 mL).
To carve, remove string from roast and cut off bones in one piece by cutting between meat and bones. Cut bones apart and serve with meat (to guests who want them the most!). Turn roast over on carving board so it is sitting boned side down and carve into slices. Spoon juices over roast when serving.
I would also serve some simple green beans or snap peas and mashed potatoes with the roast. To make it extra dressy, try the yorkshire puddings (below).
Individual Yorkshire Puddings
Yorkshire pudding is a traditional accompaniment for roast beef, and many people can’t do without it.
Place muffin pan in oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
Meanwhile, combine 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) all-pupose flour and 1 tsp (5 ml) kosher salt in a large bowl.In a second bowl, whisk 11/2 cups warm milk (or soy milk) with 3 eggs and whisk into flour mixture. Do not overmix or worry about little lumps.
Brush hot muffin pan with roast dripping and spoon about 1/4 cup (50 mL) batter into each cup.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until puffed and browned. Serve hot. (You can also bake the batter in mini muffin pans. Use 2 tbsp / 25 mL batter per cup and bake for 25 minutes). Makes 12 puddings.
Recipe #2 – To serve with Dessert course along with a glass of Meritage …
Bittersweet Chocolate Terrine
From the kitchen of Savvy Sommelier Patti
14oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
½ cup plus 2 tbsp. Unsweetened cocoa
5 tbsp.strong espresso coffee (cooled)
2 tbsp. brandy
6 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream chilled
One loaf pan, 8½” x 4½” x 3”, greased and lined with baking parchment
Heat oven to 325 degrees
Put the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl with the cocoa and coffee. Set over a pan of barely simmering water and melt gently, stirring frequently. Once it has melted, remove the bowl from the heat, stir in the brandy and let cool.
Meanwhile put the eggs into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until frothy. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and very thick.
In another bowl, whip the cream until it holds a soft peak. Using a large metal spoon, gently fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs. When combined, fold the whipped cream in.Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, then stand the pan in a bain-marie.Bake in a preheated oven at 325 for about 1 hour to 1 ¼ hours or until a skewer inserted into the center of the mixture comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool in the bain-marie for about 45 minutes, then lift the pan out of the bain-marie and leave until completely cold. Chill overnight then turn out.
Serve dusted with confectioner’ sugar or alternately prepare a bittersweet chocolate ganache and smooth over entire surface.Store, well wrapped in refrigerator.
Enjoy your Savvy Selections!