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Fess Parker The Big Easy 2010

Rhone Red Blends from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • RP91
  • TP90
14.9% ABV
  • RP90
  • RP92
  • RP93
  • WE91
  • RP91
  • WE91
  • W&S90
  • WE90
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5.0 1 Ratings
14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

With The Big Easy, Fess Parker wanted to pay homage to one of their favorite cities, a culinary mecca and great supporters of their wines, New Orleans. Notes of blackberry, plum, smoked meat, acacia flower, vanilla and pepper are found on the nose along with flavors of blueberry, blackberry, dark chocolate, black cherry, all spice and vanilla on the palate. Enjoy this meaty, well structured blend to a long lengthy finish with its dense chocolaty tannins.

Blend: 66% Syrah, 19% Petite Sirah, 15% Grenache

Critical Acclaim

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RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
With loads of upfront appeal, the 2010 The Big Easy dishes out plenty of chocolaty dark fruits, leather, ground pepper and asphalt aromas to go with a full-bodied, voluptuously textured palate. Seamless, beautifully balanced and even elegant, with clean aromas and flavors, it will continue to deliver the goods for another 5-6 years, if not longer.
TP 90
Tasting Panel
Lush and smooth with ripe plum and blackberry fruit; supple and generous with dense flavors and medium weight; rich and layered with spice and fleshy fruit; long and balanced.
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Fess Parker

Fess Parker

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Fess Parker, Santa Barbara, 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 Barbara

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by breezy ocean fog, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to six separate AVAs—Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and its four sub-AVAs Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, marked by trademark racy acidity, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and savory Syrah. The region is also home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

RRM59532_2010 Item# 125055