Review: Fess Parker Winery Syrah 2013

by Gabe Saglie, Senior Editor, Travelzoo

This month marked seven years since Fess Parker passed away, and I still fondly remember doing one of his very last sit-down interviews.  We spent time in the lobby of his namesake DoubleTree hotel, along Santa Barbara's waterfront, discussing family, business and wine.  And we sipped, too.  His favorite -- syrah.

Fess Parker Winery's 2013 Santa Barbara County syrah is a delicious balance of brawn and beauty.  There's certainly muscle here: it's inky, full-bodied and extracted.  It's meaty on the palate, with big flavors of blackberries, plums, mocha, pepper and earth.  But winemaker Blair Fox and his team have also achieved finesse and elegance here, with a potpourri of herb aromas, a buxom mouth feel and a silky finish.

Made with Santa Ynez Valley fruit -- a 62-38 combo of Rodney's Vineyard (estate) fruit and Camp 4 fruit -- this wine saw almost two years in (mostly neutral) French oak barrels. It's the perfect inspiration for your favorite home-recipe lamb kabobs or medium-rare burgers.  Or just sip while chomping on a big chunk of aged cheddar.

  • Label: Fess Parker Winery Syrah
  • Vintage: 2013
  • Source: Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara County
  • Winemaker: Blair Fox
  • Alcohol: 14.9%
  • Price: $30 

Find out more about Fess Parker Winery at

Also, the Parker family is about to launch its brand new restaurant in Los Olivos, The Bear and Star; read my preview story here.


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