91 Points - James Suckling
90 Points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Gold Medal - San Francisco International Wine Competition
The "Sta. Rita Hills" AVA, in the cool, foggy valley near Santa Barbara, is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the most exciting Pinot Noir growing regions in California. With its cool climate, the grapes ripen evenly, yielding balanced wines whether the grapes are picked early for lighter style wine, or later for a bigger style. Fess Parker, one of the early wineries in this region tends toward the latter style, with ripe, rich wines sure to please California Pinot fans. Their 2009 Ashley's Vineyard Pinot, always a standout in their line-up, was recently scored at 90 points by the Wine Advocate, and 91 points by former Wine Spectator European editor James Suckling.
The 2009 Fess Parker Ashley's Vineyard is medium ruby in color, with cherry and raspberry aromas joined on the nose by notes of hibiscus and black tea. The palate is bold and spicy, with rich flavors of blackberry, plum, cherry, peach skin, and underlying hints of graphite and vanilla. Toasty oak and firm tannin carry through on the finish. An impressive pinot noir, this one is a great candidate for that friend who says pinot is too light for them! Pair it with lamb or a hearty mushroom dish, and enjoy it now or cellar for 3-5 years.
Vineyard Source: 100% Las Hermanas Vineyard (Formerly Ashley's Vineyard)
Appellation: Sta. Rita Hills
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Barrel Aging: 16 Months In 50% New French Oak
Cooperage: Francois Freres, Remond, Seguin Moreau, Mercury
Harvest Date: September 15th – October 8th
Blocks: W & 1A
Clone Selection: Pommard & Clone 115
Tons Per Acre: 1.8 – 2.7
Brix: 24.4 – 25.7
p.H.: 3.58 T.A.: .598 G/100Ml
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.