- WHY:Fess Parker was an actor who played Davy Crockett in Disney’s 1950’s series. Fess (Can we call him, “Fess?”) opened his first resort in Santa Barbara in 1986. In 1987, he purchased 714 acres in the Santa Ynez valley for plotting and planting Fess Parker’s Winery & Vineyard. So, if Fess played Davy apparently we weren’t too far off when we said, “while it smells like the armpits of a Frontier man, it doth7s not taste so.” (Here at Hipster Enology, we use silent numbers.) So what were we getting at here? (This was the first of one of our “4 bottle nights.” There are only 4 of us. Do the math and give us a break.) This wine has a very earthy, musky smell when first opened. This is a hobo-chic, one-with-the-earth sort of stink… If a wine could have BO, Frontier Red has it. However, as it pits out, or rather, opens up, you will find some fruit. Jesse even found a rare tang of unripe blueberries in the nose. But, enough about its body odor, don’t judge this wine until you taste it.
First, Frontier Red Lot No. 82 is HOT. At 15.WTF% ABV this wine needs to breathe before imbibing. (Not that the nose wouldn’t tempt you to put baby in the corner in the first place.) This is now the third time we’ve mentioned this, because it was that hot. Not like Paris hot, but actually hot. Alcohol for miles. Once it cooled off a bit, Ben described the taste as, “It’s like spice and fruit had a fight, but then had sex at the end. Spice and fruit had make up sex.” This became quite an ironic note, because the discussion attempt to define the lingering heat of the wine and taste of pepper caused a small argument. (Ah yes, Serrano vs. Jalapeño: The Couple’s Argument.) Ultimately, we all settled on Jalapeño because the fruity nature of the beast just couldn’t be ignored. Following this spicy, front fruit forward taste was a simple finish: not flat, not overly sweet, yet not dry with no tannin.
- The Wrap:Buy this wine. This is the 5th release of this wine that Fess has tackled, Lot No. 41 being the first. It’s ready to drink and will be sure to please at any barbecue. That brings us back to that heat. All that spice, fruit, earth and alcohol compliments those rich sweet sauces very well. Since the wine isn’t overly complex or rough with tannins, you aren’t going to flatten the taste of your BBQ meats and potato salads. And, as a screw cap, Frontier Red Lot No. 82 would be great to take camping. It’d be just like taking a little Davy Crockett with you.