Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Fess Parker 2004 Santa Barbara Syrah (California)

Fess Parker past away in the middle of March this year, that's a little nugget of information that has been at the back of my mind for awhile; the reason: I have a few bottles of Fess' wine in my collection and I have been meaning to pour myself a glass in his honour.  Though the truth of the matter is I have never needed a reason to open a bottle of wine, but it's nice to have one, even if it isn't under the most happy of circumstances.  Now, I never saw a movie Fess Parker was in (he portrayed Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone in Disney flicks of the 50's and 60's, which is why his label had a small coonskin cap on it), I probably wouldn't even recognize a picture of the man if I were to see it; but he made some decent wines that I have enjoyed over the years and that was reason enough for me to open a bottle.  This Syrah is an alcohol monster, coming in at 16.4% - which was quite apparent on both the nose and on the palate.  I was all over the place with this wine, first wondering about the high alcohol smells and tastes, then sinking into it to find the fruit, and then the dreadful decision when I decided to decant (word to the wise: don't do it with this wine).  The thing I remember most is the coffee bean-like finish which seemed almost chewy.  My decision to decant brought the alcohol so front and center that it was hard to drink, giving off the distinct smell and taste of acetone.  But undecanted I enjoyed sipping on this one.  There were chocolate liqueur flavours on the mid-palate with some dark-woodsy-berry notes.  The wine was still tasty under the right conditions ... though I wish they hadn't used a plastic cork, cause that brings into question the state of my other bottles of this wine - but tonight it hit the spot.

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