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Fess Parker Ashley's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008

Pinot Noir from Central Coast, California
  • RP91
  • WE90
14.1% ABV
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14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

A dark ruby garnet color and aromas of cherry, raspberry, black tea, baking spices and vanilla, all set the stage for this elegant wine. Black cherry, ripe raspberry, nutmeg and wetstone with well integrated oak are highlighted by the hallmark acidity found in fruit from this cold climate vineyard. A great balance of acid, tannin, weight and fleshy texture frames it all in nicely and makes for terrific aging potential.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
My favorite is the impressive 2008 Pinot Noir Ashley’s Vineyard. Deep plum/ruby to the rim, with a complex nose of black raspberries, black cherries, cola, earth, and forest floor, this broad, savory, full-bodied Pinot is impressively endowed with admirable purity and length. Drink this beauty over the next 7-8 years.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Young now, with unintegrated oak, acidity and fruit. The parts want to come together, but need time. Really potent in cherry, currant, orange zest, licorice, Indian spice and sandalwood flavors that finish dry and intense. Give it until mid-2011.
Cellar Selection
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Fess Parker

Fess Parker

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Fess Parker, Central Coast, California

The Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard grew out of Fess' vision for the promise of Santa Barbara County as a premier viticultural region. Established in 1989, the family immediately began planting some of the county's most renowned vineyards. Outstanding fruit sources coupled with skilled winemaking are at the core of delivering wines of the highest quality to our consumer. We are proud to boast two Winemaker of the Year recipients – Eli Parker and Blair Fox – focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, primarily from the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, and estate grown Syrah and Viognier. 

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

RRM57710_2008 Item# 112126