One of the drop dead gorgeous spots in the Santa Rita Hills, Foxen is set in the countryside roughly an hour outside of Santa Barbara. Foxen has two lines of wines – one that focuses on Bordeaux style wines and another that produces Burgundian styles, along with an some gorgeous single vineyard Syrah wines. Sideways decided to film one of their big scenes here but these wines are the true showstopper. Foxen has gained a national reputation for outstanding Pinot Noir but their Bordeaux wines are also very impressive. Bill Wathen and David Whitehair stand at the helm of Foxen’s superstar winemaking team.
I’ve been tasting wines at Foxen for more than a decade and have always been impressed with the consistency of their red and white wines. The new wines by Foxes were gorgeous. Look for their stunning new Chardonnay release, the 2015 Foxen ‘Bien Nacido Vineyard Block UU’ Chardonnay (WWB, 93) which is one of the best Chardonnay bottling that I have sampled from this AVA in the past year. Even better was the scintillating 2014 Foxen ‘Melville Vineyard’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 95) which is a true heavy hitter of a wine, showing copious red fruits and a downright sexy mouthfeel and texture. Learn more about these outstanding wines at http://www.foxenvineyard.com/ Here are some of the fantastic new release wines from Foxen.
2014 Foxen ‘Ernesto Wickenden Vineyard’ Chenin Blanc- This wine saw four months in neutral oak. This wine opens with a bouquet of pear, honeydew melon and nutmeg. This leads to ripe flavors of ripe pear, pink grapefruit, Pazzaz apple and suggestions of baking spices. This has a plush mouthfeel and a lovely texture. Drink 2017-2022- 91 $28
2015 Foxen ‘Bien Nacido Vineyard Block UU’ Chardonnay- This hot vintage wine was aged in neutral oak for eight months prior to bottling. This begins. with bright aromatics of butterscotch, white peach, New York apple pie and nutmeg accents. The Chardonnay has beautiful flavors of Meyer lemon rind, creme brulee, ripe banana and a lingering, m cream driven finish. The plush texture is outstanding. Drink 2017-2022- 93 $32
2014 Foxen ‘Santa Maria Valley’ Pinot Noir- This wine was sourced from Solomon Hills, Bien Naciedo and River Bench Vineyards. This wine was aged for 9 months in varying aged French oak aged from 1-6 years. This lovely wine begins with aromatics of ripe cherry, red raspberry, orange rind and rose petal accents. This has a lovely lush texture, as the wine glides through the mid-palate. There are dense flavors of red cherry starburst, red raspberry, cola and spice box accents. A complete wine, this is another outstanding value from Foxen. Drink 2017-2027- 93 $38
2014 Foxen ‘Bien Nacido Vineyard Block 8’ Pinot Noir- This gorgeous wine spent 17 months in 30% new French oak prior to bottling. The Pinot Noir was sourced from an 11 acre block was was planted exclusively for the Foxen winemaker. This wine begins with aromas of spicebox, Asian spices, red cherry pie and black raspberry with earthy tones. The palate shows very ripe flavors of black tea, black cherry, baking spices and red raspberry. This is plush, dense and exceedingly delicious as the dark fruits shine through. Drink 2017-2028- 94 $62
2014 Foxen ‘John Sebastiano Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- This gorgeous wine was aged for 17 months in 50% new French oak prior to bottling. This wine begins with beautiful aromatics of pomegranate puree, red cherry, red raspberry pie and suggestions of baking spices. Cola, Asian spices, red cherry pie and lavender accents coat the mid-palate. Delicious, delicate and seductive, this has a marvelous cross between weight and feminine red fruit flavors. The purity of fruit is exceptional. Drink 2017-2029- 94 $62
2013 Foxen ‘La Encantada Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Sourced from a vineyard planted by Richard Sanford in 2000, this wine was aged for 17 months in 40% new French oak our to bottling. The wine begins with aromatics of spicebox, red cherry, pomegranate and orange rind. Lithe and plush, this wine has wonderful salinity, showing red cherry, guava and red raspberry flavors. This is feminine and delicious while showing a silky mouthfeel and a wonderful minerality. Drink 2017-2029- 93 $62
2013 Foxen ‘Fe Ciega Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- This is sourced from an eight acre vineyard near Sanford Winery. The wine begins with bright aromatics of cinnamon, loganberry jam and red cherry,. This mouthfeelis plush and intense. This has a wonderful red currant and citrus astringency to go with the lovely red fruit flavors, as this also shows a touch of salinity. This gorgeous Pinot Noir wine will be another long ager by superstar winemaker Billy. Drink 2017-2029- 93 $62
2014 Foxen ‘Melville Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- One of the outstanding regional bottlings that I sampled this year, the 2014 Foxen ‘Melville Vineyard’ Pinot Noir is an absolutely stunning effort. This Pinot Noir wine was sourced from esteemed Melville Vineyard and sat in 33% new French oakfor 17 months and utilizes Dijon 115 and Dijon 777 clones. The wine begins with strawberry jam, red cherry preserves, orange rind and suggestions of hazelnut aromatics. This has a plush texture and a lovely mouthfeel as flavors of Asian spices, red cherry preserves, loganberry jelly and white pepper. This has a wonderful structure and weight, as this glides through the mid-palate. This is another stunner from Foxen. Drink 2017-2030- 95 $62
2013 Foxen ‘Range 30 West’ Red Wine- An blend of 54% Merlot, 48% Cabernet Franc, this wine was aged for 22 months in French oak prior to bottling. This plush wine begins with aromatics reminiscent of dill, red bell pepper and red raspberry with red cherry accents. Flavor's of red cherry, green bell pepper, marionberry pie and asparagus impress. This has a wonderful texture and silky mouthfeel. Drink 2017-2027- 92 $32
2013 Foxen ‘Vogelzang Vineyard’ Cabernet Sauvignon- Showing some nice depth, this wine was aged for 22 months in 60% new French oak prior to bottling. This dense colored Cabernet bottling begins with ripe aromatics reminiscent of black cherry cough syrup, black tea, spice box and blackberry pie. Dense flavors of wild blackberry, red raspberry, thyme and free bell pepper persist with light tannins. Drink 2017-2026- 91 $52
2014 Foxen ‘Los Potreros’ Cabernet Sauvignon- This wine was mostly sourced from the Starling Vineyard. The Cabernet begins with ripe aromatics of black tea, blackberry cobbler and milk chocolate. The mouthfeel is silky, leading to ripe flavors of black cherry, black tea, milk chocolate and suggestions of baking spcies. This is fruity and delicious forward style Cabernet wine that shows some moderate tannins at this juncture. Drink 2017-2026- 91 $52
2014 Foxen ‘Tinaquaic Vineyard’ Cabernet Franc- The wine is sourced from their estate vineyard that is set on an ancient seabed and loamy soil. Cabernet Franc was planted there in 2008 and has 18% Petit Verdot blended in. The wine begins with aromatics of black tea, red bell pepper, and blackberry pie. The palate shows earthy characters of black tea, green bell pepper, radish and milk chocolate with red cherry accents. This shows tremendous range and ha a wonderful mouthfeel and minerality. Drink 2017-2027- 92 $42
2013 Foxen ‘Tinaquaic Vineyard’ Syrah- This wine has 7% Viognier blended in. The wine begins with bright aromatics of black tea, black cherry and mocha accent/s with a floral edge. The palate is plush as the wine currently displays bright favors of red cherry, pomegranate, black tea and mocha accents. This is rich and juicy wine that shows a great minerality. Drink 2017-2025- 92 $48
2013 Foxen ‘Willamson-Dore’ Syrah- Rich and round, this gorgeous 100% Syrah wine begins with black plum, blackberry pie and mint with coffee grounds. The palate is dense and shows wonderful flavors of bulls blood, black tea, mint, black cherry and black raspberry liquor. The range of flavors at play entices. This is an absolute stunner from this estate. Drink 2017-2027- 94 $48