Two of the finest bargains year in and year out from California’s Central Coast are Beckman’s red Cuvee Le Bec and their more recent white, Le Bec Blanc. Both can probably be found for under $18 at discounters. I tasted four Syrahs from Beckman Vineyards, all of them meriting an outstanding score. This corroborates past performances over the last decade that Beckman is one of the best producers from Santa Ynez. "
Beckmen Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache 2008
Grenache from Central Coast, California
From a stylistic standpoint, our Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache truly came into its own in 2001, when conditions in the growing season led us to co-ferment our best Grenache lots with a modest amount of Syrah. This turned out to be a happy accident of sorts, adding color, texture, length, flavor and a softer, plusher tannin profile to the wine. As a result, we have been adding in 10 to 15 percent Syrah ever since. This is the 10th vintage of our PMV Grenache, and it coincides with one of the finest Grenache vintages in memory.
The wine leads with enticing pomegranate, grenadine, licorice and anise aromatics before revealing voluptuous elements of cherry, chocolate and spice box.
The Wine Advocate - "This is an outstanding example of Grenache from the Santa Ynez Valley. Beautiful kirsch liqueur, lavender, spice box, and sweet black currants jump from the glass of this deep ruby/plum-colored wine. In the mouth, raspberries make an appearance in a rich, full-bodied, silky textured wine that is both hedonistic and intellectually pleasing. This is a super example of Grenache that should drink nicely for another 4-6 years.
Wine Enthusiast - "The combination of very high alcohol and what tastes like residual sugar gives this Grenache an excessively sweet, glyceriney taste. It’s fabulously rich in raspberry cream, blackberry jam, mocha, vanilla and cinnamon spice flavors. Very flamboyant and delicious, but really more of a dessert wine than a dry table wine."
International Wine Cellar - "Vivid ruby. Sexy aromas of raspberry liqueur, candied cherry, potpourri and a hint of white pepper. Offers sweet red fruit flavors and a velvety texture, with slow-building smokiness and a touch of bitter cherry. Fine-grained tannins add grip to a long, juicy, red fruit-dominated finish. This is already showing very well."
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The goal of Beckmen Vineyards is to become the most prominent family owned vineyard estate in Santa Barbara County. Rhone style wines cultivated from Purisima Mountain Vineyard will be their contribution to the next chapter of winegrowing in the Santa Ynez Valley. To appreciate this goal is to be able to understand the history of the Santa Barbara Wine country and the pioneering spirit of Tom Beckmen and his family.
In 1996 Beckmen Estate Vineyards purchased Purisima Mountain Vineyard a 365-acre Estate overlooking the Santa Ynez Valley, where there are ideal soils and climate for Rhone varieties. They began planting in 1997 and have completed a total of 130 acres at this time. The high density plantings are designed to optimize different hillside exposures and elevations. View all Beckmen Vineyards Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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