2002 Beckmen Vineyards Syrah Purisima Mountain Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley
Beckmen Vineyards was founded in 1994 when Tom Beckmen sold his music equipment company and purchased a winery on a sloping 40-acre plot in Santa Ynez Valley. He immediately enlisted his son, Steve, who helped him tear up the winery's 16 acres of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards, and replant them with Rhone varietals, most notably Syrah. Their next move was to purchase the nearby 365-acre ranch that became their Purisima Mountain Vineyard. The size of this new parcel allowed the Beckmens to dramatically diversify their plantings, which means they now also grow Grenache, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Rose, Marsanne, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Blanc in addition to Syrah.
Purisima Mountain's high elevations influence climatic factors such as moisture, temperature, and exposure. The climate is also influenced by marine air drawn up from the Pacific Ocean through the Santa Ynez Valley, which brings morning fog and cool ocean breezes in the summer afternoons. These cooling factors ensure moderate temperatures that allow for a longer, steadier ripening period, leading to superior grapes. Soil types on Purisima Mountain include clay and clay loam soils of the linne and chamise series. However, the most unique soil variation found on Purisima Mountain is the limestone subsoil. Although typically found in the great Rhone regions of France, such as Cote Rotie and Chateauneuf de Pape, limestone subsoil is a rarity in California.
Steve, forever inquisitive, developed a great interest in biodynamic farming. It took a few years for him to be convinced of the merits of the biodynamic approach and a couple more to convince his father of the same, but in the 2003, the Beckmens decided to convert Purisima Mountain. Progressing in sections, they were about a quarter of the way there at the end of 2005.
The 2002 Purisma Vineyard Syrah is a dense wine, with ripe black raspberry and licorice flavors. This wine will need 20 minutes time in a large glass before drinking. Drink now-2008.