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Fess Parker Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2020

White Wine from USA - California
3.000000000 star rating 2 Reviews
California chardonnay with green-apple, melon and citrus notes that are supported by a little French oak vanilla, and a dry refreshing style.
Price: £17.00 Bottle
Price: £204.00 Case of 12
In Stock
Code: US10211

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • 2 - Dry
  • Chardonnay
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2025
  • 14% Alcohol
  • oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Screwcap

Fess Parker

Those members of a certain age will remember the softly spoken Texan actor Fess Parker, who starred as Davy Crockett on TV in the mid-1950s and as Daniel Boone in the late 1960s. On retiring from acting he bought a ranch in 1989, in Santa Barbara County, and planted 5 acres of vineyards.

Growing grapes and making some wine all began as a small venture for his own amusement, but, as his daughter Ashley pointed out some years later, ‘Fess is from Texas, so he can’t do anything small.’

Before long he had acquired more vineyards with the help of his children and the estate land now covers 700 acres with a winery at its heart.

Today the estate is award winning, includes a hotel, spa and restaurant, and makes wine from several different vineyards in the Santa Maria and Santa Ynez valleys and the Santa Rita Hills.

Fess Parker passed away in 2010 but had already handed over the reins to son Eli, who became the president of the company to add to his role as head winemaker. Ashley heads up the marketing and sales departments.

Though the estate lies just an hour and a half north of Los Angeles, the elevation in the hills and the influence of the Pacific Ocean are keenly felt and cool-climate pinot noir and chardonnay are a speciality, though they also grow Rhône varieties, and grapes are sourced from other cooler-climate areas of California like Monterey.

California Vintage 2020

Yet again California and Oregon’s vintage news is sadly tarnished by devastating wildfires in this year. While in 2019 they occurred in mid to late October, in 2020 they raged through August and September which, unfortunately for the wine, was more significant, with many acres of vineyards left unpicked as the smoke damage was so bad.

Ultimately this year will be one where we need to buy very carefully, those regions which were unaffected by the fires made great wines, but inevitably there will be some mediocre, smoke tainted wines on the market from this vintage, although looking at the volumes made, it does look like many wineries have chosen to bottle less in 2020, picking the eyes from parcels available.

The Field

Exemplary California Chardonnay from the estate of the late Fess Parker, TV's Davy Crockett.

Jonathan Ray

2020 vintage reviews
2019 vintage reviews
2018 vintage reviews

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