Several months ago, business took me to Dallas where I picked up a bottle of wine from Becker Vineyards. Since I was back in the area for recreational purposes, I decided to try another one of their wines, the 2004 Becker "les trois dames" Claret. Contrary to the notes on the 2005 in the link, the 2004 is made up of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. The name comes from three female viticulturists who collaborated on this wine: Eunice Hunter contributed Merlot, Laverne Newsom provided the Cabernet Sauvignon, and Dorothy Cooper grew the Cabernet Franc.
A nose of blackberry jam. Firm tannins, with a cherry cola flavor and a tart but not acidic mouth feel. In a nod to Texas I tried it with a BBQ brisket sandwich.
In the words of standup comedian Ron White, "I told you that story to tell you this story." I didn't purchase the wine at the vineyard. I didn't get it as a gift from the Chamber of Commerce. I didn't even find it at a liquor store. I bought it at a gas station on the west side of Dallas, in a town called Grapevine (ha ha) just north of the DFW airport.
We had stopped for gas and I ran in to grab a bottle of water. On the door I saw a handwritten sign that said "Wine tasteing next Wednesday" (sic). I chuckled to myself and imagined some promotional event for Boone's Farm and Wild Irish Rose. Once I stepped inside I discovered that half of the Shell station was devoted to wine (and decent wine at that), and to make the experience even more odd for this Tennessee boy, I was able to purchase the bottle on a Sunday.
On one half of the store: Slim Jims and Funyuns. On the other half, a surprisingly electic mix of wines from around the world, with shelf tags and the whole nine yards. I grabbed a Texas wine mainly because they're not carried in Memphis and I felt I owed it to the Lone Star State.