Wine: Fess Parker Frontier Red Lot No. 82
Grapes: Multivarietal blend of rhone and bordeaux grapes
In the glass: Frontier Red wine is a deep purplish-red in the glass, with a dense core going out into a violet-red rim definition with medium-high viscosity.
On the nose: There is a lovely olfactory explosion of berry fruit with crushed blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and Morrello cherries, along with underlying notes of spice box, black peppercorns, tobacco and earthy minerals.
On the palate: Frontier Red is dominated by black cherry preserve, forest berries, spiced cranberry, huckleberry sauce, aniseed and blackberry character. The midpalate is balanced, and while the tannins are forward, they also are harmonious in mingling with the richness of the fruit, yet showing some rustic pepper character, coming predominantly from the rhone varietals. The finish is excellent with some raspberry jam and Good Earth Tea, while lingering for at least 20 seconds.
Odds and ends: From actor Fess Parker's winery operation, this series of Frontier Red wines is a reference to his days portraying Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone on TV. Made as nonvintage blends, these are produced in lot number batches, with the first number depicting the year of harvest (2008). These are excellent and juicy wines that are designed to be the perfect complement to the foods found at most grill parties. They are not made for the long term, but can be enjoyed through this year and next.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz's wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at email@example.com.