Enchanté Bekkers

To preface, I am a closet Francophile – fromage d’Affinois is factored in my weekly grocery budget and French Café Lounge is my most frequented Spotify playlist. When gifted a solo commute home, Joe Dassin takes my partner’s spot in the passenger seat and rather than talk about our day, we duet his 1969 hit, Les Champs-Elysée.

So, when, French-born, Emmanuelle Bekkers signed off her email with ‘amicalement’, I instinctively slid a gauche ‘magnifique’ in reply. For someone who is accustomed to providing her two cents, on this occasion even one would suffice. Magnifi’cent’. Shame on you Tijana. Fortunately, during a recent visit for my mother-in-law’s 70th, a merciful Emmanuelle never brought up my said faux pas.

What I came to discover was that this was just a glimmer of the Bekkers’ affable nature. Within twenty minutes we had met Emmanuelle’s mother visiting from Toulon, been introduced to Smudge the Fox Terrier, and invited to feed the resident ‘poisson rouge’ (goldfish). The invite earned brownie points from our six-year-old chaperone while extra servings of Parmegiano Reggiano assuaged a precocious three-year-old. All the while, six grown ups were still swooning at the enunciated ‘pwa’ in ‘poissons’.  

Intimidation is the fine wine category’s impasse; however, Bekkers’ hallmark approachability has seen them achieve in just over a decade what has taken others a century. As we savoured our first wine in the flight, Emmanuelle put it in layman’s terms. There was no cascading volcanic rock, nor a rare Asiatic berry grown only on the cliff face of K2, instead, “cherry, cranberry and whatever else we got”. It was a welcome change to see a $90 wine enjoyed rather than dissected. And enjoyed it was.


Bekkers Grenache 2021 – 96 Points

Chiaroscuro is a technique used by (me to sound worldly and) artists to create contrast between shadow and light. Mastered by Caravaggio on canvas and Bekkers in bottle – grace and buoyancy permeate the wine’s depth and brooding fruit shadow. Casting plump stella cherries, pomegranate molasses, sour plum, cocoa nibs and cardamon. Its flavours echo, suspended from Bekker’s signature midpalate. And despite their concentration, there is varietal succulence that interweaves with the fine threads of tannins. Everything is in situ as you are left following a trail of spice laden crumbs in this fairytale finish.


Bekkers Syrah 2021 – 96 Points

A wine with a Mona Lisa smile, it reveals, but does not tell. Captivating, intriguing all the while retaining that Bekkers approachability. Drawn into a vortex of sweet earth, blackberry, boysenberry and dried cranberry. There are faint notes of ink and sandalwood that follow. Sweet black cherries emerge on the palate with freshly cracked pepper, and through all the wine’s brooding attributes its acidity illuminates. Undeniably French chic, it is both poised and powerful with a sense of timelessness about it. Silky tannins seductively stroke the palate to reveal a glimpse of the female fatale in hiding. Beguiling and brilliant!


Bekkers Clarendon Syrah 202198 Points

A heady combination infused with licorice strap, star anise, carob, and shaved bresaola. As I am left in a blissful stupor, one of my in-laws articulates what I cannot, “nothing compares to this”. An 8B Faber Castell gently shades over flavours of musky plum, dried blueberries, and steeped oolong tea. Each rolls seamlessly into the next – like a French liaison that requires concentration to discern where one starts, and the other ends. There is no crescendo at the finish – instead unwavering length conducted by velvet tannins. A standing ovation, and a second glass encore.

My brother-in-law put it perfectly, with Bekkers there are no questions just satisfaction. For those inevitable moments of intemperance and its repercussions– to quote Édith Piaf “‘non, je ne regrette rien” (no, I do not have any regrets).



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