Someone just reminded me that October was Texas Wine Month. Well, better late than never as they say. My favorite Texas winery is unquestionably Becker, just outside of Fredericksberg. You could easily while away an entire afternoon there and it wouldn’t be wasted. I’ve met and shared a glass with Richard Becker on several occasions and I’m always impressed how full of ideas he is. He wants to make the best wines in Texas and he’s willing to experiment, invent and “do-over” until he achieves that goal. Here are three of his award winners. The Prairie Rotie is a Rhone-style blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and Petite Sirah. If you’re a GSM fan, you should give this a try. It turns out that Spain’s Tempranillo grape likes the Texas hill country climate just fine, and the Becker Tempranillo is arguably the best one produced in the state. Becker’s Fleur Sauvage is a blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Viognier and Pinot Grigio. This wine is a crisp, floral affair that is perfect for our long, hot, Texas summers. Becker wines are available at most grocery wine departments. And, while we’re talking Texas, there are some holiday wine trails coming up this month and next you might want to look into. Check out the Texas Hill Country Christmas Wine Affair running Dec. 4-20 (texaswinetrail.com) and the Texas Holiday Crystal Trail Dec. 5, 6, 12 and 13 (texasbluebonnetwinetrail.com). Typically you’ll visit and sample wines at four wineries on each trail. There is a tasting charge, so check the websites for more information.
Becker Vineyards Prairie Rotie from Texas
Blended Red – Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and Petite Sirah
Notes – On the nose: dried rose, coriander and earth with hints of toasted vanilla. On the palate, cranberry, dried Bing cherries, clove/allspice with lingering tannins and coffee on the finish.
A Soft Red – Cost: $$$ out of $$$$$
Becker Vineyards Reserve Tempranillo from Texas
Red Varietal – Tempranillo
Notes – Aromas and flavors of dried cherries, mocha and spice, giving way to black pepper and rose. Notes of wood violet, oak and coffee are expressed at the finish.
A Dry Red – Cost: $$$ out of $$$$$
Becker Vineyards Fleur Sauvage from Texas
Blended White – Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Viognier, and Pinot Grigio
Notes – On the nose: gardenia, orange blossom and hints of roses. Flavors of crisp, off-sweet melon and apricots with a fresh, smooth finish.
A Crisp White – Cost: $$ out of $$$$$