2017 Malbec (Reserve – Tallent Vineyard) by Becker Vineyards

Tonight’s Occasion:  2017 Malbec (Reserve – Tallent Vineyard) by Becker Vineyards, Texas Hill Country.

Deep red semi opaque color. Bright nose with bright almost crisp berries, cherries and a touch of damp wood. Swirling vigorously unlocks a burst of sweet cherry cola, subtle red vines licorice, and more damp woody leather. As it breathes the damp wood turns dusty. Interesting. I’m used to Malbec being dark, opaque and having more of a plum expression. This nose reminds me of big Pinot from the Sonoma Coast. It’s actually fairly subtle for a Malbec.

Body greets with a slightly acidic attack. Tart cherries carry over, adding a crisp, fairly restrained tannic structure. Midway through a tropical note appears. The only thing that comes to mind is banana peel. It’s very subtle but unmistakable. It adds a buttery, softening characteristic to an otherwise fairly dry body. This slowly dissipates leaving behind an almost minty/herbal cola and a slightly moist palate as it all quickly fades away. A faint spice tingle lingers long after.

I don’t think I’ve seen Malbec this restrained before. It certainly is an interesting wine. It is well made and feels representative. I’m curious to know how much of this expression is due to location and how much is the Winemaker’s influence. I will have to explore their other wines to glean more insights.

TWO HOURS LATER: this Malbec comes to life with a firm dry massive tannic grip on the finish along with more pronounced minty bitter cola, star anise, and creamy tropical notes in the body. This Malbec definitely gets my recommendation. This is a must try!

Nicely done Becker!

2017 Texas GSM Melange by Pedernales Callars

Tonight’s occasion: 2017 Texas GSM Melange by Pedernales Callars, Stonewall, TX.

43% Maurvedre, 25% Grenache, 14% Cinsault, 10% Carignan, 4% Syrah, 4% Petite Sirah.

Intense clear color. Aromatic nose, out of the bottle with bright, sweet cherries, plums. A noticeable damp wood leather permeates the nose. It’s dominant Maurvedre underpinnings are well represented. A subtle licorice lingers in the back.

Oh the body is beautifully composed. A buttery and viscous attack greets the palate. That crisp Grenache influence makes an appearance. Cinsault and Carignan bring great woody notes and bright fruit while Maurvedre, Syrah and Petite Sirah fill out the base with good structure and cassis. As it opens up a subtle bitter cola emerges towards the back. Transition to finish is seamless as the various layers interplay harmoniously. Warm spice emerges midway though and lingers long after, warming the lips and back of the palate. The entire experience fades gracefully leaving the palate dancing between dry and moist, with a bitter cola after taste. As it opens a soft creamy caramel lingers in the back.

Okay. This is a very nice GSM. I’ve had my fair share of amazing GSM but I don’t think I’ve had one with such delineation between its constituent varietals – each very clear in their expression. This tells me each of them were very well made and would easily stand on their own. Now I’m curious. I think the folks at Pedernales are up to something.

Nicely done!

Check out other wines from Texas!