2016 Bekkers McLaren Vale Grenache & 2016 Bekkers McLaren Vale Syrah Grenache
Emmanuelle and Toby Bekkers have continued their quest for excellence with a fabulous duo of 2016 releases. Both wines are predictably sensual and layered with plush, pliable, gleamingly pure fruit their sonorous calling card. What attracts me so much to these two 2016 wines is the fact that their flavours are in no way interrupted by oak. I liked 2015 Bekkers Syrah but I didn’t write it up. I gave it a big score, too, and it is a fascinating wine, but the oak is just too ‘present’ and it hasn’t melted away as I would have wished.
The 2016 releases will never feel like this because the oak is already assimilated into the whole. Only old 300l and 500l barrels are used for these wines and this is the key to their purity and cadence. In addition to the gentle oak treatment, the careful addition of whole bunches (20% in each wine) is perfectly judged, too, bringing wistful hedgerow and briar perfume to puncture the glossy depth-charges of black fruit. The blend is the more powerful wine, using 69% Syrah and 31% Grenache to bring rippling muscle beneath its mill-pond-still surface. I like it enormously, and it is a big, bold wine, but you will have guessed from my featured image that the Grenache has the edge in this vintage. This is a ravishing wine, which continues to celebrate the world-class Grenache being made in South Australia. I could spend hours sniffing this wine – for a mono-variety, with a completely hands-off winemaking recipe, this is a magnificently perfumed creature. It is clear that layering fruit from Kangarilla, Blewitt Springs and McLaren Vale is one of the factors behind this wine’s success, but it is perhaps more complicated than that. This regal wine layers site, soil, sub-soil, rocks, minerals and local flora, too. It is the non-fruit elements which grab me as much as the obviously stunning red fruit notes. I hope that these wines secure representation in the UK soon. If not, you will just have to jump on a plane to Adelaide and drink them in situ – now that’s a plan.
2016 Bekkers McLaren Vale Grenache 19+/20 $80AUD (Drink 2019 – 2030)
2016 Bekkers McLaren Vale Syrah Grenache 18.5+/20 $80AUD (Drink 2020 – 2035)
Bekkers Fine Wine tel. +61 (0)429 900 021 & email@example.com