Fess Parker Winery
2008 Rodney's Vineyard Syrah
Syrah •Rodney's Vineyard
Santa Barbara County
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s rich ad old Syrah is truly a wine of great distinction and character. As with all Fess Parker’s wines, this one will blow you away.
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Mission Codename: Pulling No Punches
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Return to our friends at Fess Parker Winery and retrieve the next vintge of their fantastic Rodney’s Vineyard Syrah.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Fess Parker Winery
Wine Subject: 2008 Rodney’s Vineyard Syrah
Winemaker: Blair Fox
France’s Rhone Valley stretches from Vienne in the north down to the Arles in the south may be best known for its intricate blends of red varietals as demonstrated by its legendary Chateauneuf-du-Pape,. It is in the spirit of these unique Terroir driven varietals that inspires today’s selection. Syrah, a native to the Rhone Valley find an excellent home in California’s Santa Ynez Valley just north of Santa Barbara.
The Santa Ynez Valley, in Santa Barbara county is influenced but not dominated by the proximity to the Pacific Ocean. A little elevation and well drained soil makes for an ideal environment for viticulture as demonstrated by the range of great wines from the region.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Beautifully dense and dark garnet in color with a dark but clear core that shows ruby reflections when tipped into to the light. Along the edges the color lightens only slightly and when swirled fat color stained legs hang on the lower edge of the glass.
Smell – Intense and rich with lots of dark and black fruit including black cherry, blackberry and spiced dark plum. These aromas blend with toasted and smoky oak, spice, pepper and dark earthy notes. A touch of cigar box and savory hints round out the nose.
Feel – Richly textured and dry, this full-bodied wine is generous on the palate with firm, expansive, mouth drying tannins. Spice, along with a healthy dose of acidity and textured minerality, frames the fruit and lingers into the finish.
Taste – Focused and rich dark fruit leads the way with black cherry, blackberry and dark plum blend with spicy pepper, dark mineral, savory flavors and licorice. Hot spice follows along with smoky and toasted oak. Throw in some bittersweet cocoa, cigar box and earth for added complexity
Finish – Extremely long with the dark and black fruit lingering on, only fading to give way to the spice, pepper flavors and textured minerality. As the spice continues, hints of the other complex flavors appear and invite another sip.
Conclusion – If you are a fan of big, rich and bold Syrah, then the 2008 Fess Parker Winery Rodney’s Vineyard Syrah is the wine for you. This wine is a pull no punches Syrah that delivers abundant black fruit and other classic Syrah aromas and flavors from start to finish. Be sure to give this wine time to open up if enjoying now or cellar for up to five to seven years. This wine is ideal for a big juicy steak grilled on the BBQ.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Fess Parker Winery in Santa Barbara’s famous Foxen Canyon can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
92 Points – Wine Enthusiast
91 Points – The Rhone Report
89 Points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate – The 2008 Syrah Rodney’s Vineyard is an intense, powerful wine bursting with licorice, blackberries, spices and earthiness
About This Wine:
The grapes from this Syrah are grown on our estate vineyard where the winery is located. Layers of black cherry, black pepper, smoke and all spice mingle with plum, graham cracker and tobacco on the nose. An irresistible combination of flavors including black cherry, black currant, blackberry, smoked meat and dark chocolate are truly pleasing on the palate.
Food Pairing Notes: Filet Mignon but can also be enjoyed with spicy, smokey dark chocolate
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).
Appellation: Santa Barbara County.
Vineyard Designation: Rodney’s Vineyard, Blocks used: F & J; Clones used: Shenandoah & Estrella
Harvest Date: 10/22/08 – 10/24-08.
Aging: 22 months in 40% new oak and 15% one year old barrels; 97% French Oak and 3% American Oak. Barrel Cooperage: Remond, Francois Freres, Ermitage, Meyrieux, Seguin Moreau
Acid: 0.634 g/100ml.
Bottling Date: 8/12/10.