|Winemaker Blair Fox pours for the crowd|
My own take-away? The ageability of these wines, even the whites, was remarkable. With the chards – all from Ashley’s Vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills – Fox credited the grapes’ remarkably high acidity, which have allowed these wines (especially the 2004, 2005 and 2006 vintages) to retain their freshness and zing.
With the pinots – all sourced from the legendary Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year – the consensus was unanimous: age does these wines well. Snider pointed out that even the 2002 vintage pinot retained its vibrancy, and I thought the 2005 pinot noir was beautifully structured, supple and lengthy.
The syrahs were a crowd favorite and would have made Fess Parker, who declared his preference for syrah to me on a few occasions, very proud. Sourced from the winery’s estate Rodney’sVineyard off Foxen Canyon Road, even the 1999 vintage revealed balance of fruit and earth and I thought the 2002 and 2006 syrahs – full-bodied, layered and sophisticated – were gems.
In other Fess Parker Winery news: with Dave Potter having recently left the winemaking team to pursue his own endeavors full time (including Municipal Winemakers and GoodlandWines), David Baird has just been appointed assistant winemaker; previously, he was cellar master at Justin Winery in Paso Robles.
Blair Fox, and his wife Sarah, are also the powerhouse couple behind the ultra-boutique wine project, Blair Fox Wines.