The latest in a line of delicious, full throttle Rhone blends, this year's bottling is comprised of Syrah (50%), Grenache (30%), and Mourvedre (20%). This full-bodied red is crafted from fruit harvested from Fess Parker owned vineyards: 69% Camp Four in Santa Ynez Valley and 31% Rodneys Vineyard on Foxen Canyon Road.
Aged for 19 months in French oak barrels, this wine shows rich cranberry, dark cherry and plum fruit flavors accented by hints of vanilla and oak. It is a weighty but elegant wine that will compliment grilled meats and roasts perfectly. The only unfortunate part of this new release is that the 2002 gave us less than 200 cases, about half as much as the 2001 vintage.
Epiphany Cellars Winery
Some people are fortunate enough to experience an event that serves to add direction and clarity in their life. For Eli Parker, this event was his family's foray into the wine business in 1987, a move that would prove to be an important turning point in his professional life. Eli embarked on a journey which began with apprenticeships and associations with several critically acclaimed winemakers and, in the process, revealed his innate winemaking talent. Winemaking has truly been an epiphany for Eli.
Epiphany is a winemaker's wine, one which satisfies Eli's passion for and fascination with winemaking. Crafting interesting wines of exquisite quality is the sole reason for the conception of Epiphany.
Epiphany's foundation is built upon the outstanding grapes harvested from the best vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County and beyond. In most cases the Epiphany wines are made with grapes from a single vineyard source in order to accentuate the unique characteristics and terroir of that vineyard. Other Epiphany wines blend grapes from multiple vineyards in order to marry different flavor nuances thereby adding depth and complexity to the final wine.
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The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Grape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.