January 31, 2007

2005 Fess Parker Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County, California

If you look closely at the label above you'll notice the raccoon skin cap above the name Fess Parker. You're asking why. Good question. Some of you may remember that Fess Parker was the actor who played Davy Crocket on the television show from the 1950's and 1960's, and Daniel Boone in the 1960's. I remember seeing reruns when I was young, but fortunately I am not old enough to remember the show being on tv.

Anyway, those who saw the show will remember that Davy Crocket, and Daniel Boone too, I think, work buckskin suits. They were rugged pioneer type guys after all. Well, story has it that Fess Parker was horribly allergic to leather, to the buckskin, and had to be slathered in salve in order to wear the buckskin outfit. There were times when he was in absolute agony. He suffered for us.

I think that Fess bought the land his winery would ultimately be built on back in the 1950's. It wasn't until the late 1980's, though, that Fess and his son Eli set out to make a world class winery. Eli studied with renowned winemakers to learn his craft, one of whom was Jed Steele. Now Eli is the winemaker at Fess Parker and it is a true family run operation.

We did not decant this wine, as when we tasted it right out of the bottle (not literally, we do use stemware...) it seemed good to go. The nose was interesting and had blackberry and cherry, some spice... like cinnamon and maybe even just a little cumin, and cola flavors... but not like a soda, like the candy that is flavored like the soda. The palate was a bit thin, but had decent fruit, a wet leather quality, restrained tannins and a short finish. It was easy to drink, a solid Pinot Noir, and a good value for the price. It was not over the top in any way, but it also did not leave a particularly strong impression on us. We love the story about Fess Parker's buckskin allergies, though. Good times.

cost - $22.99

winecommando rating (1-10) - 7.5


victoria said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed the Fess Parker Pinot. I am a long time wineclub member and visit the winery regularly. Their single vineyard Pinots are really good, a big step up from the Santa Barbara County bottle. They also make great Cahrdonnay. I have review a few of their wines at my blog. Check it out.

sanspotash said...

Thanks for the post. We'd love to check out your wine blog and compare notes on Fess Parker... but your post did not include a link.

We'll be sure to review the single vineyard Pinots and Chardonnay from Fess Parker. Thanks for the tip!