Even though the term icon seems to get handed out as freely as candy corn on Halloween night, there really is no better word to describe South African wine producer Graham Beck.
A true champion of Cape Wines, and the region of Robertson in particular, his passing last week at the age of 80 saddened lovers of inspired winemaking the world over.
While I never got to meet him in person, I did have the pleasure of spending some time at his winery with cellarmaster Pieter Ferreira where we tasted our way through a broad range of Graham Beck wines.
Though selection varies from province to province you shouldn’t have any trouble finding an example or two of Beck’s liquid personality at your local liquor store. A great introduction to his wines is the soft, soothing 2008 Railroad Red ($12.80 – $15.25) that mixes cherry, raspberry and red licorice flavours with subtle black pepper spice thanks to its blend of shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.
The 2008 Gameskeeper’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($18.95 – $19.99) offers a thicker dark berry fruit experience with a side of tobacco and chewy cassis.
– Peter Rockwell is the everyman’s wine writer, working in the liquor industry for more than 25 years and travelling the globe looking for something to fill his glass and put into words.