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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
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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 finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

RRM57710_2008 Item# 112126