2007 Revelation Syrah-Grenache-Petite Sirah Blend
Santa Barbara County
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
If you are a fan of big, rich and flavorful Syrah, then this wine is definitely worth consideration, as well as a spot in your cellar.
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Mission Codename: Tribute to Oz
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Revisit our good friends at Epiphany Cellars to retrieve their delicious Australia tribute Revelation Syrah/Grenache/Petite Sirah blend
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Epiphany Cellars
Wine Subject: 2007 Revelation Syrah/Grenache/Petite Sirah Blend
Winemaker: Blair Fox
The popularity of Syrah is undeniable. Big and bold in flavor and texture, it packs a concentrated punch of flavor that many people love. This Rhone varietal, although many believe that the grape originated in the Persia region, is 100% French in lineage. The Syrah grape is directly descendant from the Monduese Blanche and Dureza varietals and is grown worldwide with great success. Today’s selection, primarily from the Camp Four Vineyard (read further) is a blend of Syrah with some Grenache and Petite Sirah blended to pay tribute to the wines of Australia.
Australia’s Barossa & McLaren Vale is the regions most important and oldest of wine-growing regions. Well known for its ‘pull not punches’ Shiraz, the region’s cool ocean breezes on an otherwise hot dry climate, dry limestone and clay soil and relatively flat aspect that ranges from about 800 to 2000 feet in elevation provides an ideal growing environment for Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and the other Bordeaux varietals as well as Chardonnay, Semillon and Riesling
The Camp Four Vineyard (also known as Fess Parker Ranch) is 1,400-acre parcel of land that was purchased by Fess Parker Winery in the spring of 1999. The initial 250-acre block was completed and produced its first crop in harvest 2003 – of that about 130 acres are Syrah and the rest other Rhone varietals. Located slightly Southwest from the winery in the Santa Ynez Valley, the warmer climates and loam soils of this site shows great potential for producing fully ripened, mature fruit.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Extremely dark and dense with a barely clear nearly black core that reflects garnet streaks when held to the light. Deep garnet along the edges and when swirled, medium thick legs of varying speeds cling the side of the glass.
Smell – Bold and redolent with rich spiced black-fruit, plum and boysenberry with a solid toasted and smokey oak component. Bacon fat, floral, peppery spice and earth adds rich complexity and invites a sip.
Feel – Initially smooth, this rich, dry and full-bodied wine hits boldly at mid-palate with warmly textured tannins, vibrant acidity and etched minerals that makes this wine both expansive and chewy but remains plush throughout the palate.
Taste – Ripe and plump dark fruit including blackberry, boysenberry, black cherry and plum blend with meaty, smokey and spiced and toasted vanilla wood notes. Dark minerality, green herbs, mocha and spicy pepper along with an earthy component and a touch of licorice
Finish – Long and rich ripe fruit, wood and smoke linger and fade only after several minutes leaving behind richly textured tannins, toasted vanilla oak and dark minerals along with some hot exotic spice.
Conclusion – The 2007 Epiphany Revelation Syrah/Grenache/Petite Sirah Blend is a delicious bold and masculine wine that has great bold black fruit blended with solid oak notes and plenty of other complex aromas and flavors including smoke, meat, vanilla and spice. This rich and extracted wine is simply perfect for grilled meats. Enjoy now after letting it open and breathe or cellar for up to ten years.
Pardon us, but we were unable to secure an interview with Blair Fox, today. With bottling in full swing, Blair was too busy to sit with us. We’ll be sure to conduct a full debrief with Blair, the next time we feature another of his fantastic wines.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Blair Fox
DATE OF BIRTH: 10/74
PLACE OF BIRTH: Santa Barbara, CA
WINE EDUCATION: B.S. Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Enologist for Fess Parker Winery ’99, Winemaker Sunstone Winery 99-02, Consultant winemaker Fess Parker Winery 02, Vintage Winemaker- Haselgrove Winery- McLaren Vale South Australia 03, Associate Winemaker in charge of the Rhone Varietal programs at Fess Parker 03-05, Head Winemaker for Fess Parker Winery 05-present
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: I spend a lot of time in the vineyard because I feel that wines are truly made in the vineyard. I try to show the different qualities of the different vineyards and create wines with distinct varietal character.
SIGNATURE VARIETAL: I have always been particularly fond of Syrah.
CAREER HIGHLIGHT: Travelling throughout the Rhone Valley in France and tasting some of the best examples of Syrah and other Rhone varietals the world has to offer.
WINEMAKER QUOTE: I feel privileged to work with some of the best vineyards and fruit in Santa Barbara County.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Epiphany Cellars in Solvang can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
Gold Medal – 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition
Gold Medal – 2010 Orange County Wine Society Competition
91 Points – The Rhone Report – The outstanding 2007 Epiphany Revelation, a blend of 59% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 6% Petite Sirah, aged for 22 months in 50% new French oak barrels, displays slightly exotic aromas of spiced blackberries, plum, smoked duck, licorice, and river rock on the nose. Medium to full bodied on the palate, with a rich, full texture, superb balance, and a fresh, clean finish, this can be enjoyed now, as well as over the following 5-8 years." Jeb Dunnuck (Nov 2010)
About This Wine:
This wine has proven itself to be the favorite among our Wine Club members, tasting room visitors and critics. Its origins lie in a trip to the famed Barossa & McLaren Vale growing regions of Australia by Eli Parker and his sister Ashley about ten years ago. Eli’s vision of creating a dynamic, bold, world-class wine made from Rhone varietals grown in Santa Barbara County has certainly come to fruition. This new vintage is comprised of 59% Syrah, 35% Grenache and 6% Petite Sirah all of which was harvested 94% from Camp Four Vineyard and 6% from Rodney’s Vineyard. The fruit sat for 22 months in French oak barrels, 50% of which was new. The 2007 release will definitely rank with the best of past vintages and will show the richly textured blackberry, boysenberry fruit, spice, vanilla and barrel notes and long, refined finish we have all come to know and appreciate. Cheers!
About The Winery:
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.
The characters Fess portrayed, Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, inspired generations of Americans. Throughout the late 1950’s and 1960’s Fess was at the pinnacle of a television career that has an unprecedented impact upon American popular culture. But is was Fess’ entrepreneurial spirit that prompted his leaving Hollywood to go into business for himself. The traits that Crockett and Boone embodied – integrity, resourcefulness and good humor — carried over to Fess’ personal life and formed the foundation upon which the family business was built. First-class hospitality has always been at the core of their ventures, first as hoteliers and eventually with the opening of the winery.
Working as a family has always been a great source of pride and pleasure for the Parker family. Eli Parker began in the family business as assistant winemaker in 1989. After several years of learning the craft at the side of renowned and accomplished winemakers, Eli took the reigns as winemaker himself with the 1995 vintage. A leader of the winery since it’s inception, it was in 1996 that Eli formally assumed the title and responsibilities of President. In the early 1990’s, Ashley ran the first tastings out of the barrel room and represented the winery at trade shows. In 1998, Ashley became Eli’s partner, working on the public relations and sales and marketing teams. The presence of Fess and his wife Marcy as the founding visionaries of the winery is a vital and enduring one.
About The Winemaker:
BLAIR FOX – Head Winemaker – Graduating from UC Davis in 1999 with a combined degree in Viticulture and Enology, Blair Fox gained winemaking experience at Sunstone Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley (1999-2001), and at Haselgrove Winery – a custom-crush winery in McLaren Vale, Australia (2003).
He also traveled through France’s Rhône Valley before returning to his hometown of Santa Barbara. He then joined Fess Parker Winery & Vineyard as Associate Winemaker, overseeing the Rhône varietal wines. Fox had previously consulted in the vineyard for the winery’s 2002 harvest.
“Having focused on the winery’s estate Syrah and Rhône varietal vineyards, I’m excited to add on the responsibility for Ashley’s and Bien Nacido vineyards and control the Burgundian part of our portfolio (Pinot Noir and Chardonnay),” said Fox. “The vineyards and clonal selection here are of such high quality, and the Parkers are a great family to work for.”
Fox continues the stylistic direction set by Eli Parker when capturing the terroir of the vineyards. He aims to continue raising the bar for the award-winning Fess Parker wines, such as the 2001 Rodney’s Vineyard Syrah (91pts, Wine Advocate), 2002 Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir (93pts, Wine Spectator), and 2001 American Tradition Reserve Syrah, (92pts, Wine Advocate).