Beckham Estate Vineyard

Owner(s) Andrew Beckham, Annedria Beckham
Web site www.beckhamestatevineyard.com
 
Link to this site
Beckham Estate Vineyard

A small, family owned and meticulously farmed vineyard in Oregon’s Chehalem Mountains. The property was acquired in 2004 with the intent of building a pottery studio, but Andrew convinced his spouse to try planting a few rows of grapes. The Beckham Estate Vineyard was founded in 2005 and the first wine was made in 2009.

The winery’s mission is to grow and craft exceptional Pinot Noir that expresses the beauty of the site and the individuality of the vintage. The organic, dry-farmed vineyard is farmed by Andrew and Annedria Beckham and Andrew does the winemaking. The 14-acre vineyard is planted to Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon 115 clones of Pinot Noir derived from cuttings from nearby vineyard, and small amounts of Riesling, Trousseau Noir, Savagnin and Sauvignon Blanc..

Andrew Beckham is the first North American vintner to make 100- to 220-gallon amphorae in which to ferment and age his wines. As a ceramics teacher, he has found the confluence of his life's passions: clay and wine. In 2011, Annedria introduced Andrew to a magazine article on Elisabetta Foradori's wines in Italy. Andrew looked at the article and the images of the amphorae and knew he could make them. He consulted with a chemist and worked to develop a clay body that was viable and food safe, using clay from the closest source for terracotta, the Delta in Sacramento. Through trial and error, he found the most appropriate firing temperature for making unlined amphorae.

Since crafting wines with the amphorae, Andrew has noted that the extraction coming from clay at the end of primary fermentation is brighter and higher toned and has more energy and tension. The wine doesn't get as hot and doesn't ferment as fast. During aging, the wine is exposed to twice the oxygen in the clay as in oak. The clay vessel also acts as a fining chamber so the wines finish with great clarity. The wines tend to mature at a much faster rate than would be seen with wines aged in oak barrels. Typically, the amphorae-aged wines are bottled at 9 or 10 months versus 18 for oak barrels.

Andrew finds that amphora builds texture in wines. He likens it to brick dust or something that is iron-driven, very earthen. However, it is very nuanced and subtle. The same textural component has been observed regardless of varietal. Andrew says that the difference in ferments in terracotta for the AD Beckham wines, versus oak for their Beckham Estate wines is dramatic.

Current production is 2700 cases annually under two labels: Beckham Estate Wines and Amphora Project Wines (A.D. Beckham).

Reviewed Wines

2015 Beckham Estate Vineyard Estate Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., $30. A blend from the entire estate vineyard including Pommard, Wädenswil, 115 and 777 clones. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 10% new. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. The nose opens slowly in the glass to reveal aromas of blackberry, turned earth and oak vanillin. Fruit-driven by a mid weight core of black fruits accented with dark chocolate, spice and toast flavors. Very approachable, with suede tannins, balancing acidity and some finishing generosity. Score: 89. Reviewed December 3, 2017 ARTICLE »

2015 Beckham Estate Vineyard Sophia’s Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 100 cases, $40. Released April 2017. This wine is named for the Beckham’s eldest daughter Sophia. Dijon 115 (ownrooted). Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 10% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. A charming wine with enticing scents of black cherry, woodland, spice and piney oak. Lifted and vivacious, with a tasty core of dark red cherry and berry fruits framed by smart tannins. Impressive harmony, with a driving, extended finish. Score: 91. Reviewed December 3, 2017 ARTICLE »

2015 A.D. Beckham Lignum Chehalem Mountains Amphora Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $45. This wine was fermented in handmade terra cotta vessels and 50% aged in 12-year-old French oak barrels and 50% aged in amphorae. Bottled unfiltered. · Dark garnet color in the glass. A totally different wine than the “Creta.” The fruit profile seems riper, showing aromas of fruitcake, prune and marzipan. Full-bodied, with plenty of purple and black fruit sap with a pleasing spice accent. Wellstructured, with a soothing texture and a enviable finish. I was attracted to the spice, balance and texture of this wine. Score: 91. Reviewed December 3, 2017 ARTICLE »

2015 Beckham Estate Vineyard Dow’s Chehalem Mountains Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 100 cases, $50. Released October 2017. The name of this wine honors Andrew’s son, father, grandfather who carry the name Dow. Pommard and 777 clones. 30% whole cluster fermentation. Aged 15 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Demure aromas of blackberry, cassis and smoke . Masculine in a mid weight plus style, with rich, full flavors of black raspberry and blackberry with a touch of smoke and tobacco. Silky in texture, with a noticeably intense and prolonged finish. More giving when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 90. Reviewed December 3, 2017 ARTICLE »

2015 A.D. Beckham Creta Chehalem Mountains Amphora Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 100 cases, $55. “Creta” is Latin for clay and this wine was fermented and aged in terra cotta. Clones are Pommard, Wädenswil, 115 and 777. 30% whole cluster fermentation. Native yeast fermentation. Bottled unfixed and unfiltered. · Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Primary aromas of black cherry, earth and white chocolate with a dank note in the background. More appealing on the palate, with mid weight flavors of dark red cherry, cranberry and spice. Lively and bright, with a purity of fruit expression unencumbered with oak. The texture is like fine emery. Similar to a Pinot Noir vinified in neutral oak, but with more richness of fruit flavor and structure. Score: 90. Reviewed December 3, 2017 ARTICLE »

2013 Beckham Estate Olivia’s Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 60 cases, $18. Released January 22, 2014. Nearly sold out. Named for the family’s youngest daughter. Dijon 115 and Pommard grown especially for this wine. Fermented in neutral French oak. No malolactic fermentation. · Pinkish red color and clear in the glass. Lovely aromas of fresh strawberry, watermelon and blood orange are echoed in the flavor profile. Bright and crisp with gossamer tannins. Score: 89. Reviewed June 16, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Beckham Estate Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 225 cases, $30. Contains all four clones from the estate vineyard. 100% de-stemmed and whole berry fermented. Aged 15 months in 40% new French oak. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The vibrant nose picks up intensity and nuance over time in the glass, offering a rainbow of aromas including black cherry, ripe strawberry, black raspberry, spice and rose. Delicious well-sustained attack of black cherry fruit accented with clove and cola, carrying over to a magnificent finish of impressive fruit concentration. Very smooth in the mouth with the structure to age many years. This wine has a racy personality. Score: 94. Reviewed June 16, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Beckham Estate Sophia’s Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 70 cases, $35. May 2014 release. Dijon 115. 100% de-stemmed and whole berry fermented. Aged 15 months in 40% new French oak. · Deeper reddish purple color reflective of the vintage. Expressive aromas of fresh cherry pie glaze and rose petals. Mid weight core of tasty red fruits with a complimentary touch of oak and spice. Balanced tannins and quite forward. Score: 92. Reviewed June 16, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Beckham Estate Dow’s Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

$40. Fall release. Not tasted, but expect big things. · Reviewed June 16, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Beckham Estate Vineyard Dow’s Chehalem Mountains Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 70 cases, $45-$50. September or October 2014 release. Since 1857, more than 20 sons in the Beckham family have carried the name Dow. The wine honors Andrew Beckham’s father, grandfather and son.From the Beckham Estate Vineyard, a dry-farmed site with rocky volcanic soils at 412 to 568 feet elevation. Clones are 777 and Pommard. 100% de-stemmed. Aged 15 months in 40% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark cherry, raspberry and earthy flora with a hint of peppery spice. The rich fruit of the 2012 vintage is on full display buffered by well-integrated tannins. A mix of ripe cherry and berry flavors is accented with notes of dark chocolate, a hint of confection, and an iron-driven minerality. The finish is robust and lingering. Score: 92. Reviewed August 15, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Beckham Estate Sophia’s Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

50 cases, clone 115, sold out. Not tasted. · Reviewed June 16, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Beckham Estate Estate Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 350 cases, $30. Released September 2013. Nearly sold out. Aged 18 months in French oak, the last 6 months in neutral French oak. All clones in vineyard including Pommard, Wädenswil, 115 and 777. 100% de-stemmed and berry fermented. Aged 15 months in 40% new French oak. · Light in color and weight, with tannins slightly dominant over fruit concentration. Still quite appealing, with wellperfumed red cherry and cranberry fruits with a hint of raspberry and sassafras. Driven by crisp acidity, the wine has a sweet cherry, soprano finish. Score: 89. Reviewed June 16, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Beckham Estate Dow’s Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

50 cases, $40. Since 1857, more than 20 sons in the Beckham family have carried the name Dow and this wine honors Andrew’s father, grandfather and now Andrew’s son. A barrel selection of clone 777 and Pommard aged in 40% new French oak. · Light reddish purple color in the glass. Elegant, but packs plenty of flavor including Bing cherry, spice and mocha. Highly aromatic with a hearty backbone of tannin and a pleasing finish. Score: 92. Reviewed June 16, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Beckham Estate Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

13.3% alc., 275 cases, $32. Released April 2012. Yields 2.5 lbs per vine. 100% de-stemmed, whole berry fermented, aged 11 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very enticing aromas of fresh pie cherries, red plums and baking spices. Discreetly concentrated flavors of red cherries and berries with a hint of baking spice, offering hi-tone acidity and mild tannins, leaving a memorable fruit-filled impression on the finish. Lighter weighted than the 2009 bottling but offering more transparency, finesse and charm. Very good (+). Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Beckham Estate Vineyard Chehalem Mountains Oregon Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 250 cases, $32. Inaugural vintage. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of darker fruits including black plum with a hint of toasted oak. Well-structured core of black raspberry, plum and black currant fruits with a hint of brewed tea, becoming more mellow over time in the glass. Very ripe, smooth and mouth filling with impressive length on the finish. Very good. Reviewed May 11, 2012 ARTICLE »



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