2015 Bekkers McLaren Vale Grenache
Not far from the McLaren Vale township lies a vineyard of old, dry-grown Grenache that we’ve long admired. We source a tiny parcel of terrific fruit from these old warriors. 2015 saw the addition of a Blewitt Springs parcel of fruit. Grenache from this higher elevation part of the valley delivers fragrance and pretty aromatics; its medium weight counters the density of the valley floor parcel.
Grenache is a hero variety for McLaren Vale and is experiencing a renaissance. When carefully grown and gently handled it has the capacity to make beautiful, expressive wines.
In our Grenache we search for asiatic spice (cloves and star anise), fragrance and pretty aromatics. We love Grenache's clarity of fruit. It's no shrinking violet though, and has the capacity age beautifully.
Ex-Cellar Door Price:
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.
2018 Australian Wine Vintages (The Gold Book), Rob Geddes MW. 94 pts for 2015 Bekkers Grenache: "Skilful winemaking..."
Very aromatic with raspberry, rose water, graphite mineral and white pepper spice aromas. The soft up front tannins, ripe redberry fruits on the front palate and spicy red fruits on the middle are very varietal. Skilful wine making has created a generous wine with refined length from the very fine tannins that knit the front palate fruit flavour into mineral spicy smoked meat on the savoury long finish. 94 points. Five stars.
Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2018. 98 pts for Bekkers 2015 Grenache- "As close to perfection as you are likely to come with McLaren Vale grenache."
McLaren Vale Grenache 2015
Hand-picked from three vineyards on 17 Feb, 6 and 25 Mar, the parcels open-fermented with 20% whole bunches, 5-6 days cold soak before wild yeast fermentation, matured on fine lees in used French puncheons. As close to perfection as you are likely to come with McLaren Vale grenache. The perfumed bouquet sets the scene for the silky, supple red-fruited palate, superfine tannins always present, oak flavour absent. Has many of the characteristics of a great pinot noir.
Gourmet Traveller Wine. Huon Hooke: 95 pts for 2015 Bekkers Grenache. “An outstanding grenache…”
An outstanding grenache, scented with sweet, ripe raspberry jam aromas while the palate is full-bodied, soft and rounded with ample tannins and richness. It’s youthful and bright, bold and almost decadent; the finish lingering on and on. 95 pts. Five stars.
Huon Hooke.com. 95pts for Bekkers 2015 Grenache- "Very good - even decadent."
Medium to deep red with a purple tinge. The bouquet is raspberry jam-like and sweet, bold and ripe and not showing development yet, while the palate is full-bodied, soft and rounded, with ample soft tannins and good richness. The length is superior and the wine is all-round satisfying. Very good - even decadent.
Drink 2017 to 2032
The Adelaide Review. Dave Brookes: Bekkers 2015 Grenache: “It’s one of the top Grenaches around and is just a pleasure to drink.”
Oh Grenache, how I love thee. Let me count the ways. Okay. You’ve got me. I’m a bit of a Grenache fanboy and why wouldn’t I be? We have an abundance of gnarled old-vine Grenache in South Australia, and a number of producers putting out wines that could proudly challenge all-comers in their ability to speak clearly of their region and site (not to mention pure drinkability). The husband and wife team of Toby and Emmanuelle Bekkers is amongst those doing great things with the variety in McLaren Vale. A viticulturist and a winemaker, joined together in holy matrimony for the good of the grape. Three different parcels of fruit from different sub-regions of McLaren Vale and a gentle hand in the cellar allow the fruit to sing.
Medium cherry-red in colour, it is impressively perfumed with pure, resonant aromas of plum and cherry along with splashes of blueberry and cranberry for good measure. Hints of cola, gingerbread, exotic spice, lavender with a musky, earthen edge. The weight is pitch-perfect and at the lighter end of medium-bodied. It shows great detail and clarity as it glides across the palate. Fruit flavours of red and dark plum and cherry are again lifted by a hit of cranberry, along with hints of Asian spice, ginger-cake, earth, licorice, purple flowers and a slight musky edge that is bewitching. The tension is spot on, fruit and acid in perfect balance, tannins, too, are poised just right. The finish is savoury, rich in umami. The food-matching possibilities here are only limited by your imagination. It’s one of the top Grenaches around and is just a pleasure to drink.
Australian Financial Review, Max Allen: 2015 Bekkers Grenache- "One of the most outstanding wines of the thousands I tasted last year.."
One of the most outstanding wines of the thousands I tasted last year: superb, earthy, macerated red and black fruits, perfectly poised, wrapped up in firm, lip-smacking tannin and a deep, umami-rich savoury quality. Intensely flavoured but not heavy: the wine carries its 15 per cent alcohol effortlessly, and will, I suspect, develop beautifully in the cellar for many years.
Available direct from bekkerswine.com. $80