Beckmen – It’s November 17th, and newly-harvested grapes are awaiting their crush.
Pushing blackened opinions about Californians and “ripeness” aside – and Beckmen is hardly considered a prime offender in this regard – I proceed to the last tasting of what’s been a relatively full day on the tourist (rather than wine pro) schedule. It’s nice, at least, to be at an actual winery surrounded by actual vines, rather than in a purpose-built tasting room in a cold warehouse or over-quainted village center.
As closing time approaches, I’m forced to race through the wines. I certainly don’t blame them for wanting to go home (or more likely, in this case, go help with the grapes), but it does make for much shorter encounters – and thus, notes – than I’d prefer.
Beckmen 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (Santa Ynez Valley) – Ripe and green, heavy on the gooseberries. Solid.
Beckmen 2007 Roussanne Purisma Mountain (Santa Ynez Valley) – Rich and smooth. Spiced nuts. This wine reeks of confidence.
Beckmen 2010 Grenache Rosé Purisma Mountain (Santa Ynez Valley) – Very fruity. A bit of a bomblet, really. A raspberry neutron bomblet.
Beckmen 2009 “Le Bec Blanc” (Santa Ynez Valley) – Roussanne, marsanne, grenache blanc. Faded grass. Exceedingly simple-minded.
Beckmen 2008 Grenache Purisma Mountain (Santa Ynez Valley) – Spiced bubblegum. A strongly fruit-dominated wine – hello, grenache – that carries right through a fairly long finish. It’s one-note, but it’s a pleasant note.
Beckmen 2009 “Barrel Select Cuvée” (Santa Ynez Valley) – Wonderfully pure fruit. With meat. And tannin. The brevity of what precedes understates the quality: this is a very good, albeit forward, wine.
Beckmen 2009 “Estate” Syrah (Santa Ynez Valley) – Juice. Very acidic (in a good way), but this is more like syrah-ade than it is a wine. I don’t mind, really, but it’s…eclectic.
Beckmen 2008 Syrah Purisma Mountain (Santa Ynez Valley) – Big shoulders carrying heavy tannin, and bending a bit under the weight. A touch weedy. The peppery finish is pleasant, but everything isn’t in sync here.
Beckmen 2008 Syrah Purisma Mountain Block 6 (Santa Ynez Valley) – Dark, sweaty, and dense. Tarred, but definitely not feathered. The finish is distressingly reminiscent of paper turning to ashes.
Beckmen 2008 Syrah Purisma Mountain “Clone #1” (Santa Ynez Valley) – Big, round raspberries. Other than that, it just sort of sits there. I’d think more of this wine if I didn’t know its price.