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Fess Parker The Big Easy 2016

Rhone Red Blends from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • V95
  • JD92
14.9% ABV
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4.0 29 Ratings
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4.0 29 Ratings
14.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

With The Big Easy, Fess Parker pays homage to one of their favorite cities, a culinary mecca and great supporters of their wines - New Orleans.This well-structured blend has the same characteristics you have come to expect from The Big Easy: rich dark fruit flavors with a touch of oak, and soft tannins that lead to a long lengthy finish.

Blend: 57% Syrah, 31% Petite Sirah, 12% Grenache

Critical Acclaim

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V 95
Vinous
The 2016 The Big Easy is fabulous. Rich, powerful and flamboyant to its core the Big Easy hits the palate with tremendous fruit intensity. Super-ripe red cherry, raspberry jam, white chocolate, vanillin and new American oak shape this opulent Syrah/Petite Sirah/Grenache blend. Winemaker Blair Fox has dialed in a style that captures all the exuberance of past editions, but with more nuance than the Big Easy has ever shown. And I say that as someone who has never loved this wine. The 2016 is simply outrageously delicious.
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 The Big Easy checks in as a blend of 57% Syrah, 31% Petite Sirah, and 12% Grenache brought up in French and American oak (61% new). It's always an uber-ripe, pleasure-bent effort and the 2016 is no exception, although it has a beautiful weightlessness and elegance about it as well. Blackcurrants, camphor, scorched earth, licorice, and spice notes all emerge from this medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced, delicious red that packs ample fruit and texture. Don't age it, drink it.
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Fess Parker

Fess Parker

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Fess Parker, Santa Ynez Valley, 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. 

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Santa Ynez Valley

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Ranging from cool and foggy in the west to warm and dry in the east, the Santa Ynez Valley is a climatically diverse growing area. The most expansive AVA within the larger Santa Barbara County region, Santa Ynez is also home to a wide variety of soil types and geographical features. The appellation is further divided into four distinct sub-AVAs—Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District and Happy Canyon—each with its own defining characteristics.

A wide selection of grapes is planted here—more than sixty different varieties, and counting. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir dominate in the chilly west, while Zinfandel, Rhône blends, and Bordeaux blends rule the arid east. Syrah is successful at both ends of the valley, with a lean and peppery, Old-World sensibility closer to the coast and lush berry fruit further inland.

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Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

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 is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône 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 make an appearance.

WWH150029_2016 Item# 434689