93 points/Editors' Choice - Wine Enthusiast
90 points - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Today's offer is a special one though, as we are able to offer a Fess Parker Chardonnay from one of the top vineyards in California, Bien Nacido. This ranch is in a very cool subsection of the Santa Maria Valley, and this cool weather allows for a long ripening season. The result is wines of great intensity that still maintain impeccable balance. In fact, today's wine, the 2012, just received 93 Points and a coveted “Editor’s Choice” designation from Wine Enthusiast.
The 2012 Fess Parker Bien Nacido Chardonnay is a lovely pale straw color, with perhaps even a hint of pale green. The nose explodes with aromas of lemon, apple, and more exotic, tropical fruit like mango and guava. The palate shows more bright fruit, with melon and spicy minerality joining the chorus. Medium to light bodied with incredible vibrancy, the 25% new French oak is beautifully integrated, framing the wine without overwhelming the flavors.
With fewer than 400 cases produced, this is special wine is one to grab now and enjoy over the warm months to come, or cellar for 3+ years.
Vineyard Source: Bien Nacido
Appellation: Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County
Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Barrel Aging: 100% Barrel fermented & aged 10 months in 25% new French oak & 25% 1-year old barrel & 50% older French oak barrels
Harvest Date: October 5th
Clone Selection: Clones 17 & 95
p.H.: 3.290.657 g/100ml Acid 0.657 g/100ml
Production: 391 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.