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Fess Parker Santa Barbara Syrah 2003

Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    Dark fruit aromas of black cherry, blueberry, raspberry and plum are accentuated by hints of smoke, black pepper, and cinnamon in this big Syrah. Rich flavors of briary fruits, chocolate liqueur, black cherry, blueberry and sweet oak give way to round, supple tannins and a smooth, soft finish.

    Critical Acclaim

    Fess Parker

    Fess Parker

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    Fess Parker, , California
    Fess Parker
    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.

    Oakville

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    Home to some of the most sought-after Cabernet Sauvignon in America, Napa Valley’s Oakville district covers the stretch of valley floor and foothills between the Vaca and Mayacamas Mountains. This AVA is home to the legendary To Kalon Vineyard as well as many powerhouse wineries including Screaming Eagle, Silver Oak, Robert Mondavi, and Opus One. The climate is generally warm and agreeable and the soil is well-drained, resulting in year after year of favorable vintages.

    Cabernet here is often bottled varietally but is also popular in Bordeaux blends. Oakville wines are known for their rich texture, structured tannins, dark and brooding fruit, often with a healthy dose of new oak. These age-worthy and prestigious wines are favored by collectors throughout the world.

    Bordeaux Blends

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    One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

    In the Glass

    Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

    Perfect Pairings

    Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

    Sommelier Secret

    While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

    NDF753174_2003 Item# 90646

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