Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Beckmen Cuvee Le Bec

If you're looking for a big, heavy-hitting Central Coast Rhone varietal blend - and that's one thing I'm always on the lookout for - Beckmen Vineyards' Cuvée Le Bec easily fills those shoes.  This wine, like all of Beckmen’s wines, is estate grown, produced and bottled.  The Los Olivos-based winery offers this blend as one of its flagship wines.

I bought the Cuvée Le Bec in a wine store for $16.  It's a mixture of 51% Grenache, 27% Syrah, 16% Mourvédre and 6% Counoise.  The alcohol level is in the 14-plus range, and it's not shy about showing its teeth.

The nose carries quite a bit of heat even after an hour in the glass.  It took about two and a half hours to lose most of the alcohol overlay, but even then it was still a noticeable trait.  Luscious cherry liqueur candy aromas do come through the haze.

The taste is vibrantly fruity, with candied cherry and blueberry mixed together.  The fruit makes quite a strong play, but so does the alcohol.  The heat is still a dominant factor after nearly three hours in the glass.  There is an earthy streak of minerals which is particularly apparent on the finish.

Three hours after pouring - yes, I waited it out - the alcohol buzz is almost all gone and you’re left with a very brambly and dark fruit bomb.  Not an entirely unpleasant situation to be in, it’s just too bad it took three hours the get there.  Decant, wait and enjoy.