93 Points/Editors’ Choice - Wine Enthusiast
90 Points - KensWineGuide.com
While it is a cliché in the wine industry that Syrah doesn't sell, the fact is that all of the grapes of France's Rhone Valley have gained in acres planted and popularity since the "Rhone Rangers" first began promoting these varieties in the 1980s. Perhaps nowhere has this been more apparent than with Viognier, which was at one point virtually non-existent in California, but now boasts over 2,000 planted acres. This white grape is perfect for those that want something different than Chardonnay, but prefer a more full-bodied, richer white wine. With its unique flavor profile, Viognier can match beautifully with flavorful food, but unlike Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, has plenty of body to stand up to heavier foods. This week we are happy to offer an outstanding Viognier from Fess Parker, sourced from Santa Barbara County, where this grape is really starting to take hold.
The 2010 Fess Parker Santa Barbara County Viognier is pale straw in color, with intense lemon, peach, apple, and lime aromas, along with the floral note that is so characteristic of Viognier. The palate is medium bodied, with citrus flavors joined by green apple, ginger, and even a hint of strawberry. Good acid gives the wine structure, with a spice giving way to lime on the finish. This is a versatile wine when it comes to food pairings, but would really shine with Asian food with milder chili flavors. A perfect white wine for winter, as it doesn't need to be overly chilled.
Vineyard Source: 59% Rodney’s Vineyard & 41% Camp Four Vineyard In The Santa Ynez Valley
Composition: 87% Viognier, 8% Grenache Blanc, 5% Marsanne
Barrel Aging: 10 Months In 70% One Year And Older French Oak, 30% Stainless Steel Fermentation
Harvest Date: September 15Th – October 29Th
Brix: 23.4 – 25.6
Alcohol: 14.5% Alcohol By Volume
T.A.: .639 G/100Ml
Production: 3768 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.