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Flat front label of wine

Fess Parker Rio Vista Pinot Noir 2006

Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
  • WE90
14.7% ABV
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2.0 2 Ratings
14.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Rio Vista Vineyard is located along the Santa Rosa Road Corridor of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. The fruit of this small, family-owned vineyard is coveted for its varital character and typicity. The floral component in the aromatics of this wine calls to mind something truly romantic; there are nuances of rose petals and geranium apparent. On the mouth, it is complex and inviting. By turns, fruit-forward, spicy and minerally, this wines flavor profile is ever-changing in the wine glass, and gets more interesting as it evolves over time. Look for dried herbs, ocean brine and ripe Bing cherries on the mouth.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
There's a palate-warming generosity to this single-vineyard Pinot, a result of its softly balanced texture and the smoothness of new oak. Luxurious flavors of smoky cherries and currants, roasted nuts, molasses and honey taste almost like an energy fruit bar from the health food store. This lovely, supple wine should develop through 2012.
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Fess Parker

Fess Parker

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Fess Parker, Santa Maria Valley, 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. 

Santa Maria Valley

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A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely east to west starting near the coast, allowing Pacific Ocean air to funnel through and cool the vineyards. This allows grapes to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, this creates an ideal environment for grape growing.

Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has proven quite successful in the region as well. Many vineyards here are owned by growers who sell their grapes to wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottle from different wineries. Bien Nacido is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

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.

FESPN06RIO6PK_2006 Item# 106474