Friday, September 15, 2017

Addendum: New From Fess Parker

Santa Barbara County's Fess Parker Winery is branching out. In the spirit of their founder's pioneering ways, the heirs of the barrels have headed north, to the Napa Valley, to create a new label. Adding to the Parker legacy is Addendum, the company's arm for Bordeaux-style wines.

The Addendum wines are just becoming available, but I was able to snag a sample thanks to a Brandlive virtual tasting event put together by Charles Communication. Parker's daughter Ashley Parker Snider, her husband and Parker President Tim Snider and winemaker Blair Fox all took part in the online session.

The virtual tasting is hosted here, if you’d like to take a look.

The Fess Parker winemaking program began 30 years ago in Santa Barbara County, with Rhône and Burgundian styled wines. The second generation of the Parker family is forging the new label for single vineyard Napa Cabernets. They source some grapes from Stagecoach Vineyard, and another noted plot that we cannot mention due to contractual restrictions.

Tim Snider says they felt they had to explore the possibilities presented by their vineyard relationships in Napa. In true pioneer fashion, they are blazing a new trail for themselves. Snider says the family did not make the move to producing Napa Cabs cavalierly. He says the main emotion at this point is enthusiasm. Ashley pointed out that they didn't start a Cab label just so they could charge more for the bottles. Production on all four of the Addendum wines together is less than 800 cases, she says, so it’s more of a learning experience.

The grapes for the 2014 Addendum Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon came from two Napa sites. Alcohol comes banging in at 14.9% abv and retail price is $90.

This is an extremely dark-tinted wine. It's nearly impenetrable, in fact. The nose follows suit, showing very dark fruit covered in a savory shawl of forest floor, cigar box, pencil shavings and spearmint. The palate is lush, with blackberry flavors and earth most prominent. It has quite a backbone, with enough tannic structure for marbled beef and some left over. It still drinks fairly youthfully, but it does settle down somewhat over time.

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