The 2010 Parker Station (the Parker stands for Fess Parker, this is their entry level Pinot Noir) Central Coast Pinot Noir has been upgraded for the 2010 vintage. This bottle is 91% Pinot Noir and 9% Napa Gamay, Gamay is the grape used in Beaujolais, Napa Gamay isn’t Gamay, they mistakenly thought it was, but is actually related to the Valdiguie grape from the south of France, which has some Pinot-like qualities. I found this Pinot on sale for $6.99, which is a great price, it should be available everywhere for under $13 when not on sale. It is one of the few value Pinot Noir’s that lists the vineyards where the grapes were sourced. 60% of the Pinot grapes came from Scheid Vineyards, an independent vineyard located in Monterey County, 19% from Stokes Brothers Vineyard, which is part of Benson Ferry Vineyards in Lodi, 8% Camp 4 and 3% Rodney’s Vineyard both Fess Parker Wines properties and 1% Simpson Vineyards. The Parker Station Pinot’s motto is, “The best Pinot Noir you can afford to drink daily”. The alcohol content is 13.8%.
The color is an extremely see-thru plum red. The nose is a combination of a fruit forward Pinot and a funky, brooding Pinot, a little smoke, some herbs, mushrooms compete with fresh cherry and raspberry. This is interesting, it has loads fresh ripe fruit and a complicated Pinot edge. It tastes of black cherry and vanilla, herbal tea, pencil lead, don’t tell me you never stuck a pencil in your mouth while struggling over a math problem in the 6th grade, fig and tart cranberry. The mid palate adds strawberries in cream and a touch of cola. The acidity is nicely balanced, it gives this Pinot length you don’t always see in this price range. The finish is subdued, but lingers for quite some time.
The 2010 Parker Station Central Coast Pinot Noir is a best of both world’s Pinot, funk and fruit. They nailed the motto of the best Pinot you can afford to drink daily. The Parker Station Pinot drinks very well on its own and has enough body and flavor to match up with a wide variety of cuisines. If you are into the complicated, deep Pinot Noirs, this wine might not thrill you, but if you are looking for a solid everyday Pinot, this one is a contender.