Mourvèdre Monday #23: Becker Vineyards Prairie Rotie 2007

Mourvèdre Monday finally makes it to Texas. Becker is a big name in the Texas wine scene. I’ve tried quite a few of their wines over the years with mixed results. I had high hopes for their “Prairie Rotie” — a Southern Rhône blend of Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah and Carignan (though the name is a play on Côte Rôtie, which is a Northern Rhône appellation where the wines are either all Syrah or Syrah + Viognier). Let’s check it out.

Producer: Becker Vineyards,whose winery and tasting room are in the Texas Hill Country near Fredericksburg

Grapes: 68% Mourvèdre, 14% Grenache, 12% Syrah, 6% Carignan

Appellation: Texas High Plains AVA – way up in the panhandle

Vineyard: Martin Vineyard

Vintage: 2007

Winemaking: This wine spent 9 months in new American oak barrels.

Alcohol: 13.8%

Price: $16.95 on Becker’s website, but I believe I paid about a few dollars less at HEB (supermarket).

Tasting notes: This wine smells purple, grapey. Or like some imaginary Kool-aid flavor called Sparkleberry. Some sweet oak coming through pretty strong as well. Extracted, overripe berry fruit on the palate, coming across a little raw. The winery’s description promisingly mentions forest floor and herbs and coffee, but I didn’t pick up any of that in the wine. I grew bored of this very quickly.

Overall impression: A Texas winery taking pains to make and market this as a Rhône-style wine set my expectations to a way different place. I hope Becker (and others) continue working with these grapes here in Texas, but this particular wine didn’t do much for me. C

Free association:

6 comments to Mourvèdre Monday #23: Becker Vineyards Prairie Rotie 2007

  • Totally with you on this wine. I had this at a BBQ a few weeks ago, and was totally underwhelmed. Very dissapointing, and I never would have pegged this for a Rhone blend in a blind tasting. Your grade might even be a little kind. :)

  • Jim/VINEgeek

    Hey Ben – As a naturalized Texan, I REALLY wanted Texas to have a good showing on Mourvedre Monday, but this wine did not bring it. Let me know if you discover any good ones in your Texas tastings.

  • James

    Can I just say this is another example of how many of these “award winning” Texas wines are not what so many are claiming to be. Now do not get me wrong, there are a few still out there that ARE in my book “award winning” wines that have never ever been judged and they refuse to enter into judging competitions.
    I have never had this wine, but I have been disappointed with other wines from Becker. And its interesting how they win so many awards…Do wine judges like these types of wines?
    Here is a link to another “out of state” opinion on some award winning Texas wines.

  • Jim/VINEgeek

    James – I’m with you on “award-winning” wines. I’ve tasted many (not just in Texas) that make you scratch your head and wonder.

  • Jack

    We enjoyed a bottle of the 2010 Prairie Rotie last evening. Both my wife and I agreed that we would buy a case of this. Although we live in Texas we typically have avoided Texas wines until recently. We have found some excellent wines here from Becker, Bending Branch and Solaro to name a few. Also nearly all the grapes are from Texas vineyards now. Try this 2010 Prairie Rotie and see if you still think its mediocre.

    • Jim/VINEgeek

      Hi Jack – Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this wine. Perhaps the 2010 is better than the 2007. Or perhaps we have different palates. Either way, I’ll try to pick up the latest vintage and give it another go. I’d love to have a Texas Rhone-style wine that I really dig. Cheers!

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