The Wine Detective: Sarah Ahmed (U.K.). Bekkers 2015 Grenache: “Lots of complexity.”
I’ve been mighty impressed by viticulturist and winemaking couple Toby & Emmanuelle Bekkers’ wines since I first tasted them during a visit in 2015. So I’m very happy to be showing their Grenache (2014 vintage) at a Prowein masterclass for the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association in March. The 2015 is similarly a blend of dry grown Grenache from 1930s’ plantings, both at around 100m, in Blewitt Springs (sandy soils) and close to McLaren Vale township (clay, sand & gravel). Wild fermented with 20% whole bunches, the wine was aged in 500l seasoned French oak barrels. The first vintage I tasted – the 2013 – came solely from the latter vineyard and was possessed of plusher fruit and tannins. The Blewitt Springs’ component really alters the tannin structure, lending a tactile feel and, though it still comes in at 15%, a heightened sense of freshness to the palate, especially on day one. It’s pale – a bright ruby hue, youthfully pink at the edges, with a subtle catering chocolate edge (a character I often find in Pinot Noirs) and pronounced florals (violets/lavender) to the nose. I tasted this sample at home and, on day one, it had a firmness, even a tartness, to its raspberry fruit and fine but textural underlay of sandpapery tannins. On day two, it had unfurled to reveal more opulent fruit – kirsch, plum and blackberry, the acidity now more integrated, insinuating even. A lovely cherry lips note to the finish lends a gentle medicinal/dried herbs note. Lots of complexity; still youthful. Takes you on a journey.