92 points - Wine Enthusiast
92 points - Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
We’ve been singing the praises of the 2012 vintage in California for a while now, but, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, we are delighted to offer yet another truly exceptional pinot noir from this stunning vintage. Fess Parker winery is one of the top producers in the Santa Barbara region, and Ashley’s is one of their very best vineyards. Combine all that with a perfect vintage, and the result is a pinot noir that stands out even in a market crowded with beautiful wines. Having already scored 92-points from both Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast, it is a pleasure to join the chorus and recommend this wine to our clients.
The 2012 Fess Parker Ashley’s Vineyard Pinot Noir is bright garnet is color, with beautiful clarity. The nose is incredibly floral, with rose and jasmine joined by underlying notes of honeysuckle and fresh plum. Red and black berry flavors lead the way on the palate, with cherry and an underlying earthiness giving way to darker plum and tobacco flavors on the finish. Lush and pleasing on the palate, but with good structure, this is a perfect expression of Santa Barbara pinot noir. A definite candidate for the cellar, this should develop over the next 3-5 years and hold on for many more than that.
Vineyard Source: Ashley's Vineyard, Blocks T, 8B, 4A & 1
Appellation: Sta. Rita Hills
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Barrel Aging: 100% Barrel fermented & aged 16 months in 47% new French oak
Harvest Date: September 18 - October 9
Clone Selection: 114, 667, 777, 115
T.A.: 0.599 g/100ml
Production: 895 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 reins 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.