A Wine for Great Ideas
Leave it to Davy Crockett aka Daniel Boone aka Actor Fess Parker to provide a great couple of wine discoveries for this month’s Club selections. The actor, who is best known for his portrayals of honest, America-loving frontiersmen, is a family winemaker with several wineries these days, and this month we feature two from his Epiphany Cellars. Appropriately named, this is a winery that seeks and succeeds with illuminating wine discoveries. From a “Gypsy” red that is compared to Chateauneuf du Pape to a lesser-known white varietal, Grenache Blanc, both of these wines have made their mark as winners of various accolades at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, including a gold medal for Gypsy, and “Best White of Show” for the Grenache Blanc. Yes, Davy Crockett was King of the Wild Frontier, so now Fess Parker and his family are producing wine fit for a King.
2008 Epiphany: Grenache Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley
We have all heard of the red Grenache grape that is used so often to make Provencal Rosé, but the Grenache Blanc grape is much less common, partly because it has a reputation for being hard to tame. Low acidity, high alcohol—it needs a little bit of something else to make it sing. And that’s why Parker’s family adds in 4 percent Rousanne. This light golden wine is like a fall fruit bowl with a hint of the tropics. Most note the green apple, late peach and pear flavors with some minerality and spice thrown in. This wine, with 14.1% alcohol, has a dry finish that will go well with your favorite chicken dish.
2005 Epiphany: Gypsy, Santa Ynez Valley
Just like the Chateauneuf du Pape it succeeds at emulating, Gypsy blends together several grapes: half of the wine is made from Mourvedre and Grenache, and Syrah, Carignane and Petite Sirah make up the rest
The result is an intense, aromatic, ruby-colored nectar that recalls dark berries and cherries, currants, sage, pepper, pipe tobacco-y scents that bear out on the palate with robust flavors of dark chocolate, blackberry, black cherry, black pepper and vanilla. The 25 months of barrel aging have produced an elegant, robust wine that is fun to drink and certain to impress those who love an equally rich and aromatic Provencal red. This wine can be enjoyed now and over the next 2-3 years.