Mixed Half Case Cabernet Sauvignon Pinot Noir Syrah Red Wine
2 x 2007 Ampelos Gamma Sta. Rita Hills Syrah
2 x 2008 Fess Parker American Tradition Reserve Pinot Noir
2 x 2009 Rancho Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
What better time to be drinking full-throttle American reds. You can't do better than this six-pack at this price. You get two bottles each of a Pinot Noir, a Syrah and a Cabernet, all from California. Think of the three wines as going from first to second to third gear. Get rolling with the Fess Parker American Tradition Pinot Noir – a fruit-forward, no-holds-barred Pinot Noir that's good enough to open for a fancy dinner or just enjoy on its own. Kick things into second with the Ampelos Syrah, an inky, jammy, glass-staining expression of American goodness that'd be perfect with a cowboy-cut rib eye. When you're ready for an evening that has the potential to devolve into a good, old-fashioned frat party, put the game on the TV, order up some burning-hot Buffalo wings, invite over some friends over and uncork both bottles of the Rancho Alexander Valley Cabernet.
My personal rule about which American reds to drink is that they should be fun and approachable, and never cost you a small fortune. Add to that, these reds are the first thing to grab not just for wings and steaks but for pizza and burgers too.
Dark, rich blueberry and strawberry-rhubarb pie aromas leap from the glass, riding on waves of toasty oak (the wine spent 16 months in 50 percent new barrels). The aromas are as inviting as they are balanced, not overbearing. And the wine tastes exactly as it smells, with an extra spicy touch that's kept in check by the rush of acidity – with a touch of minerality – that makes your mouth water for more. This is just really enjoyable Pinot that's not trying to be something other than what it is, which is elegant, integrated and balanced. Drink this with salmon, sushi, roast chicken with rosemary potatoes, chicken pot pie – or just because.
"I suspect some readers find it hard to reconcile Hollywood's Davy Crockett/Daniel Boone image of Fess Parker with that of a seriously committed vineyard developer and winery owner. However, these are some of the finest wines and wine values emerging from the Santa Barbara region. While maintaining an attractive price structure, Fess Parker and his winemaking team continue to raise quality to impressive levels. As I have indicated in past reports, Fess Parker has been a visionary in Santa Barbara. Not only does he run a fine hotel and restaurant, but he has developed some of the region's finest vineyards. Moreover, he has been generous in sharing the fruit from those vineyards with some of the area's best winemakers. His new releases are all impressive."
—Robert Parker Jr.
The 2007 Gamma Syrah is an opulent and luxurious wine, exhibiting an inky purple hue with a touch of pink around the edge. Vibrant, dense fruit explodes from the glass with a jammy perfume of raspberry, strawberry, blackberry and cassis, mingling seamlessly with notes of spice and mineral. There is no noticeable oak, and despite its richness, it weighs in at a balanced 14.2 percent alcohol. Fabulous stuff!
The 2007 Ampelos Syrah Gamma is 100% Syrah, all from the Ampelos estate Vineyard, that's aged for 18 months in 31% new French and American oak. Very deep and dark aromatically, with crunchy black cherry, blackberry, pepper, mineral, smoke, and underbrush aromas, this medium-bodied, beautifully pure and focused Syrah has notable balance, edgy acidity, and an overall energetic, crisp feel. It's delicious now, but will be better in a year or two, and should drink well for a decade. This isn't a powerhouse, and excels for its purity and focus more than weight.
- Jeb Dunnuck (Dec. 2011)
Demeter® USA is the non-profit American chapter of Demeter International, the world’s only certifier of Biodynamic® farms and products. Biodynamic agriculture goes beyond organic, envisioning the farm as a self-contained and self-sustaining organism. In an effort to keep the farm, the farmer, the consumer, and the earth healthy, farmers avoid chemical pesticides and fertilizers, utilize compost and cover crops, and set aside a minimum of 10% of their total acreage for biodiversity. The entire farm, versus a particular crop, must be certified, and farms are inspected annually. In order for a product to bear the Demeter logo it must be made with certified Biodynamic® ingredients and meet strict processing standards to ensure the purest possible product.
The first whiff of this wine is loaded with notes of candied maraschino cherry and vanilla. You get the same on the palate, with a dark undercurrent of cassis and currant, all supported by soft, integrated tannins. This is an unpretentious, unapologetic, crowd-pleasing party pour of a Cabernet. It'd be great with any number of spicy party foods, particularly wings, or just about anything containing chorizo.
This product ships to the following states:
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, Wyoming