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Beckmen Cuvee Le Bec 2015

Rhone Red Blends from Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • RP90
  • JD90
0% ABV
  • RP90
  • RP90
  • RP89
  • RP90
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3.9 9 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Beckmen's largest single production, the Cuvee Le Bec has always been anincredible value wine in their portfolio. A red Rhone style blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Counoise, the core of the CLB is balance. Harvested from vineyards on both their Winery Estate and Purisima Mountain Vineyard, the wine is predominately Grenache and Syrah in most vintages with lesser portions of Mourvedre and Counoise. Based on the Village wines of the Cotes du Rhone, the CLB shows great old world complexity and elegance and ripe California fruit.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A blend of 43% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 14% Mourvèdre and 8% Counoise, the 2015 Cuvée le Bec has a medium garnet-purple color and is scented of cherry pie, raspberry preserves and spice cake with hints of potpourri, baking spices and black pepper. Full-bodied and decadently fruited in the mouth, the spicy red berry preserves flavors are well-framed by rounded tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long and peppery.
JD 90
Jeb Dunnuck
A wine that always seems to over deliver, the 2015 Cuvee le Bec (43% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 14% Mourvèdre and 8% Counoise aged 16 months in 10% new French oak) presents a vibrant ruby color along with a crisp, pure bouquet of blackberries, blueberries, violets and pepper. Elegant, silky and layered, it's certainly the most elegant, though concentrated, vintage of this cuvée I've tasted.
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Beckmen

Beckmen Vineyards

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Beckmen Vineyards, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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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.

Santa Ynez Valley

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Ranging from cool and foggy in the west to warm and dry in the east, The Santa Ynez Valley is one of California’s most climatically diverse growing areas. The most expansive AVA within the larger Santa Barbara County region, Santa Ynez is also home to a wide variety of soil types and geographical features. To avoid an identity crisis, the appellation is further divided into four distinct sub-AVAs—Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon—each with its own defining characteristics.

As one might expect from such a vast and varied region, a wide selection of grapes is planted here—more than sixty different varieties and counting. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir dominate in the chilly west, while Zinfandel, Rhône blends, and Bordeaux blends rule the arid east. Syrah is successful at both ends of the valley, with a lean and peppery Old-World sensibility closer to the coast and lush berry fruit further inland.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

RAE260006_2015 Item# 326803