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The 2019s from Bekkers : They just keep getting better and better

October 2022

The 2019s from Bekkers
'They just keep getting better and better'

2019 Syrah/Grenache, Bekkers - £275 per 6 bottle case in bond
2019 Grenache, Bekkers - £275 per 6 bottle case in bond
2019 Syrah, Bekkers - £350 per 6 bottle case in bond

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labelling bottles

I picked the wrong day to work from home it seems. There was an exciting delivery into the office today in the form of the 2019s from Bekkers…Simon and Richard have just tasted and are waxing lyrical about the quality on show across the three wines. So they have sent me their tasting notes and subsequently darted off to lunches leaving me to write it up. Typical!
The Bekkers wines will be familiar to many of you. After all, we have been raving about the quality of these wines for six years now, and they are firmly established as an Atlas favourite; remarkably pure, elegant and fresh wines, which challenge many people’s preconceptions of McLaren Vale. Unsurprisingly, many of our clients have now cottoned onto how extraordinary these wines are. If you are yet to try these wines and are intrigued, I would urge you to take the plunge.
By way of background, Toby Bekkers is a hugely respected vineyard consultant and a pioneer of organic and biodynamic viticulture. His wife, Emmanuelle, is a French winemaking consultant, who ended up in Australia by way of winemaking roles at Hardy’s. Together they have a near perfect blend of skills!
Toby’s vast knowledge of the growers, soils and vines provides Emma with the best fruit for the winemaking. A small, 6-hectare plot of Grenache vines planted in the 1930s, for example, caught Toby’s eye nearly two decades ago and he’s fostered a strong relationship with the grower. Toby’s attention to detail is matched by Emma’s exacting standards in the winery. Fruit is handpicked and then meticulously sorted. It is then vinified at the neighbouring state-of-the-art winery Yangarra and then transferred to Bekkers’ own barrel room.
The 2019s from Bekkers show brilliantly (I am told!) – a little more structured than the 2018s, the 2019s nonetheless showcase that trademark Bekkers freshness and poise, with an incredible purity to the fruit. The 2019 vintage was hotter and drier than the norm – this can present challenges to growers, who must be vigilant to protect the vines from water stress and the grapes from sunburn. However, in the hands of such attentive and skilled growers as the Bekkers family, there can be benefits to such conditions; yields are naturally lowered, increasing the overall concentration, enhancing the tannins and acidity in the grapes as well as the aromatics and flavour intensity. Such is the case across the Bekkers’ range this year.
While their Syrah has garnered most of the plaudits to date, Grenache is experiencing something of a renaissance in McLaren Vale. Often associated with very fruit forward, easy drinking wines in Australia, in deft hands Grenache can achieve complexity and a terrific silkiness to the fruit. On sandy soils at high elevations it retains its freshness. It is the sophistication of the Bekkers Grenache that impresses. ‘To get the best out of Grenache, you’ve got to put it in a bonsai pot’ says Toby with a smile – it hints at the attention that the Bekkers bring to bear on the wines.
I am looking forward to tasting these wines tomorrow when I am in the office, so, in the absence of my own note, please see notes from Simon alongside those of Huon Hooke of The Real Review below. Simon tasted the wines today and gave me the following message to accompany his tasting notes: ‘Brilliant is an overused word. These wines are brilliant. Refined, persistent and pure.’ Safe to say the 2019s from Bekkers have his endorsement!
Please also note that the Bekkers wines are exclusive to Atlas in the UK. The value offered for wines of this calibre is remarkably high.

2019 Syrah/Grenache, Bekkers
£275 per 6 bottle case in bond

The Syrah impact is clear in terms of colour and aromatics, deeper in hue, bright crimson with juicy, soft skinned berry fruit on the nose with hints of fruitcake and moist dried fruit. Damsony dark fruits lead the palate, as this wine reveals its seamless melange of Syrah and Grenache components. With a spicy edge, a curranty touch and a certain savoury nature, this 2019 reveals a wealth of fruit, but it is measured, elegant and refined, with an enlivening note of acidity to the finish which carries the dark fruit, with floral nuances and hints of spice, pepper and clove. Again, I would think this is the most compelling vintage of this wine that I have tasted. Not sure how they are doing it, but it is working! (SL) Drink: Now to 2033. 

95 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
Intense and deep purple core, brightening into the rim. Cardamom, plums and boudin noir on the nose. Medium to full on the palate. There’s a subtlety to the fruit, which sets it up to mesh well with the dark, stony, savoury minerality. Flowing and gliding into a very long finish. There’s a remarkable level of poise and class here. Drink 2021-2036 

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2019 Grenache, Bekkers
£275 per 6 bottle case in bond

Scented, floral, gentle with no obvious oak influence. Purity above all else. Loganberry, lightly spiced raspberry with a creamy nuance. Subtle darker, smaller fruits too – blueberry, blackcurrant even. The palate is so smooth, elegant and refined, while the fruit is fuller than I recall. This picks up a certain savoury note as it develops its caressing, flowing raspberry ripple fruit. There is a wild quality to the fruit – nothing confected or one dimensional. There is a balance and sleek accent here, that is seldom found even in the Southern Rhône. An absolute joy and, for me, possibly the best vintage yet for the pure Grenache. Count me in – this is brilliant. (SL) Drink: Now to 2033.

96 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review

Medium ruby colour, bright and hints of purple in the rim. Red cherry, dusty earth and cumin on the nose. The palate follows the nose in its savoury dominance. The fruit has ample intensity but it’s the earth and spice notes that build interest and character. It is seamless in its flow with fine tannins and soft acidity caressing it extremely long. A great example of what can be done in the Vale with grenache and time will only improve the experience. Drink 2021-2041 

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2019 Syrah, Bekkers
£350 per 6 bottle case in bond

Dark damson and blackberry fruit on the nose with notes of aromatic Asian spice. The palate is sleek, packed with notes of steeped or macerated fruit. What continues to impress is the intensity of flavour, without obvious weight. There is nothing imposing here, but such a bright, pure, fruit, sleekly expressed with fine underpinning tannins and impressive purity. A certain savoury nature develops once more – but it only ever hints at oak. Nothing in the elevage is overplayed so that it ensures the fruit takes centre stage. Those aromatic spice notes linger long into the finish. Beautifully expressed. Kudos to Toby for the fruit and Emma for the winemaking. This is a knock-out. (SL) Now to 2035.

95 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review
Deep, youthfully bright red/purple colour, with a spicy, youthful shiraz aroma, seemingly cooler-grown than it is, but also concentrated and deep. The flavour penetrates very deep and is augmented by ample soft, fleshy tannins. Texturally lovely and beautifully balanced. It’s already enjoyable to drink, although it undoubtedly has a bright future. A more elegant rendition of this wine. Drink 2022-2036

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This is invariably one of our most successful offers each year, so please do let me know of your interest.
Best wishes
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