Wine: Beckman Vineyard Beaux Chevaux Syrah
Region: Calaveras County, Calif.
Availability: Lee’s Discount Liquors
In the glass: Beckman Syrah wine is a blackish-red color with a deeply opaque inky core going out into a bright garnet-red rim definition with medium-high painted viscosity.
On the nose: It is a highly attractive and concentrated medley of kirsch over crushed black fruits with boysenberries, ripe cranberries, black currants, loganberries, and then hints of graphite, eucalyptus leaves, sun-dried blueberries, star anise, Ribena and plum liqueur.
On the palate: There is profound concentration of black berry fruit with lots of cherries, blackberries, slightly spicy huckleberries, boysenberry juice, blueberry pie, licorice and smoked meat. The midpalate is round and generous with firm tannins that are in nice harmony with the fruit in the wine, ultimately resulting in a long, solid finish that reaffirms the muscular nature of such a full-bodied syrah.
Odds and ends: This may be the wine deal of the summer! Now, Beckman Vineyard is not to be confused with Beckmen Vineyards from Santa Barbara, Calif. Beckman Vineyard is in the much lesser known winegrowing area of Calaveras County, near the city of San Andreas and the Stanislaus National Forest. This is handcrafted stuff, and, incredibly, only 100 cases were made of this rare syrah, most of which it appears ended up at Lee’s. It is obviously a syrah that normally would retail for about $50, but to find it at less than $4 is the sort of deal you just don’t find very often. Well-crafted, oak-aged quality syrah from an estate vineyard, despite the relative obscurity of the region, is the stuff of collectors’ lore. And on top of everything else, it’s from the phenomenal vintage of 2007.
Drink it with a pepper-crusted rib-eye steak, hot off the grill, and you have yourself a midsummer night’s dream, a true American wine and a fabulous Fourth of July celebration. The wine is good now through 2016.
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.