91 Points - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
90 Points - Wine Enthusiast, (Cellar Selection)
90 Points - Stephen Tanzer
One of the great things about California wine is the diversity of regions in which grapes are grown and capable of making outstanding wines. This diversity ensures that when some areas are struck with a difficult vintage, many others are able to produce outstanding wines. Today's Heist is just such a wine and from one of our favorite producers. The 2008 Fess Parker Ashley's Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills, offers great value with stunning quality. Critics as diverse as Robert Parker (Wine Advocate—91 points) and Stephen Tanzer (90 points) agree that this is truly an exceptional wine, and we couldn't wait to offer it to you.
The 2008 Fess Parker Ashley's Pinot Noir is medium ruby in color with a hint of garnet. The nose is classic Sta. Rita Hills, with black cherry and blackberry accompanied by hints of toasty oak. The palate is loaded with cherry, berry compote, licorice and chocolate, with just a hint of watermelon. Rich and lush with good acid and layers of complexity, this should age nicely over the next 5 years, although it has plenty to offer now. Serve this with slow cooked pork and you will be in heaven!
Vineyard: 100% Rancho Las Hermanas (formerly Ashley's Vineyard)
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Sta. Rita Hills
Vineyard Designation: Ashley's Vineyard
Harvest Date: September 26th- October 9th
Acid: .675g/ 100ml
Aging: 16 months in 50% new French oak
Production: 2,465 - 6 pack cases
When Fess Parker was cast in the roll of Davy Crockett in the mid-1950’s, it caused an international sensation and changed his life forever. So too did the purchase of 714 acres in the Santa Ynez Valley change the course of the Parker family’s history.
Realizing the potential of Santa Barbara County as a premium grape-growing region, Fess and his son, Eli, originally set out in 1989 to plant a small vineyard and sell fruit to local producers. But, as Fess’ daughter, Ashley explains, “ Fess is from Texas, so he can’t do anything small. “The Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard now farms almost 700 acres on four vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County.
The characters Fess portrayed, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, inspired generations of Americans. Throughout the late 1950’s and 1960’s Fess was at the pinnacle of a television career that has an unprecedented impact upon American popular culture. But is was Fess’ entrepreneurial spirit that prompted his leaving Hollywood to go into business for himself. The traits that Crockett and Boone embodied - integrity, resourcefulness and good humor -- L-R Tim Snider, Fess Parker, Ashley Parker Snider, Eli Parker carried over to Fess’ personal life and formed the foundation upon which the family business was built. First-class hospitality has always been at the core of their ventures, first as hoteliers and eventually with the opening of the winery.
Working as a family has always been a great source of pride and pleasure for the Parker family. Eli Parker began in the family business as assistant winemaker in 1989. After several years of learning the craft at the side of renowned and accomplished winemakers, Eli took the reigns as winemaker himself with the 1995 vintage. A leader of the winery since it’s inception, it was in 1996 that Eli formally assumed the title and responsibilities of President. In the early 1990’s, Ashley ran the first tastings out of the barrel room and represented the winery at trade shows. In 1998, Ashley became Eli’s partner, working on the public relations and sales and marketing teams. The presence of Fess and his wife Marcy as the founding visionaries of the winery is a vital and enduring one.
More at www.fessparker.com.