Becker Vineyards Claret (Texas 2007)

My first taste of a Texas wine, many, many moons ago, was pretty bad. So bad that it put me off Texas wines. Once bitten, twice shy and all that. Until today, anyway.

Becker Vineyards, however, has been getting pretty good reviews lately, so it was impossible to resist a highly rated wine marked down more than half-price. ($7, down from $17.) Seemed a small price to give Texas another try.

My long-standing opinion about Texas vintners is that they attempt to squeeze California wines from a decidedly un-California climate. We used to be a country, for crying out loud. The least we can do is develop our own unique, non-Californian wines! *end rant*

But Becker seems to have done just that. This wine tastes like Texas: brash, forward, and amusing. The pungent herbal fragrance precedes a minerally, cedar-infused wine with flavors of blackberries, licorice, tobacco and leather. I don’t think you could make this wine anywhere else in the world, so strong are the juniper and limestone. Complex and well-balanced. Powerful, like Texas.

We’re cooking burgers on the grill, but it would work even better with venison or cabrito or even Hawaiian kalua pork.

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