Fess Parker Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir 2020
The 2020 Fess Parker Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir is a garnet color. Aromas of black cherry, sassafras, forest floor, baking spices, black tea, vanilla, and sandalwood. Flavors of black cherry, red plum, milk chocolate, cranberry, wild strawberry, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.
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Established in 1989, the Fess Parker Winery has a long history in Santa Barbara Wine Country and is well known for its small-lot, hand harvested, vineyard-designated, and clonal selection Rhône and Burgundian varietals.
The winery specializes in estate grown Syrah, Riesling, and Viognier as well as Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley AVA’s. Outstanding fruit sources, including some of the finest vineyards in the county, coupled with skilled winemaking, led by Blair Fox, form the foundation for the winery’s success. Fess Parker Winery’s estate vineyard, Rodney’s, received its SIP (Sustainable in Practice) Certification in 2020.
Now three generations in, the Fess Parker Family is proud to carry on Fess’s legacy of wine heritage and hospitality in Santa Barbara.
A superior source of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, westernmost sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation within Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on.
The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot noir, thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil. Here, grapes ripen just enough, while retaining brisk acidity and harmonious balance.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”