Andrew Beckham has merged his two loves, ceramics and wine. The bottle for this wine lists it as “Creta A.D. Beckham MMXVI Amphora Pinot Noir”. This wine was made in a terra cotta vessel. A vessel made right here in his studio on the vineyard.
There is a long story to go with this. A beautiful and very real story, patiently told to me by Andrew’s wife Annedria, when we visited them at the Beckham Estate Vineyard this summer. That story will have to wait for another day. Soon, I promise. Today, we are going to talk about this wine.
A.D. Beckham 2016 “Creta” Amphora Pinot Noir
“Creta” is latin for clay and this wine was fermented and aged in terra cotta and bottled un-fined, un-filtered.From Beckham Estate Vineyard http://beckhamestatevineyard.orderport.net/product-details/0076/2016-AD-Beckham-Creta-Pinot-Noir
The vineyard and winery sit in the Chehalem Mountain AVA on Parrett Mountain, where the vineyard elevation lands at 412 to 568 feet. Soils here are Jory and Saum. This wine, of which there were only 100 cases made, is unfined and unfiltered, and if you want to get all geeky, the Pinot clones are Pommard, Wädenswil, and Dijon 115 and 777. This is 30% whole cluster.
What to pair?
Annedria Beckham got back to me with a beautiful recipe that she had just paired with the Creta Amphora Pinot Noir.
As we just had our 3 pigs butchered we have a wealth of pork in our freezer. I made this recipe the other evening and it went beautifully with the AD Beckham Creta Pinot noir’s bright cherry and cranberry notes. You could substitute duck breast for the pork for an equally delicious meal.Annedria Beckham of Beckham Estate Vineyard
Spiced Pork Tenderloin with Cherry-Thyme Pan Sauce
modified from Epicurious
· 1 teaspoon ground coriander
· Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper
· 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds total)
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 1 large shallot, thinly sliced 1/4 cup
· 10 sprigs thyme
· 1 1/4 cups dry red wine
· 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
· 1 tablespoon sugar
· 1 (10-ounce) package frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed, halved (about 2 cups)
· 1-2 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
1. Combine coriander, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a small bowl. Rub pork with spice mixture.
2. Heat oil in a 12″ heavy skillet over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to medium and cook pork, turning occasionally, until meat is browned on all sides and an instant-read thermometer inserted diagonally into the center of each tenderloin registers 145°F, 20–25 minutes. Transfer pork with tongs to a cutting board (do not wipe out skillet) and let stand 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook shallot and thyme in skillet, stirring, until softened and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Add wine, vinegar, and sugar. Bring to simmer and cook, scraping up any browned bits and stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced by about half and shallots are tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in cherries, any accumulated juices, and 3/4 tsp. salt and cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, add butter, and swirl skillet to combine. Pluck out thyme sprigs, taste, then season with salt and pepper as needed. Slice pork and serve with sauce.
This recipe had my mouth watering. Sadly, this was a late night pairing and the recipe arrived too late for us to gather all the ingredients. I look forward to them releasing the 2017 Creta Pinot, so I can get a bottle and try it with this amazing recipe. The cherries, the balsamic, the thyme, the pork…all would be perfect with this wine. And actually, Annedria’s suggestion of duck, is really what I may try! But for tonight, we will have to do without.
Michael made do with gourmet sliders and bacon wrapped dates waiting to pair with this wine. Michael wrapped the dates in a maple bacon, so we had that sweet and savory combo and found that it went brilliantly with the wine. With the sliders, I have to admit, I slathered one bun with lobster pate and the other with tomato marmalade, the sweet, the savory, the rich…all played perfectly against this wine
So what does it mean to the wine to have the wine fermented and aged in clay rather than wood?
Maybe it was just my brain making the association, but I felt like I could smell the clay on this wine. On the nose, it starts with baking spices and deep red fruit (that is the cherry and cranberry Annedria mentioned). It is medium bodied, but flavorful, so it feels bigger in your mouth. The tannins are smooth, but lively and long lasting. As it opened up I got more mocha/cocoa on the nose, and it felt darker in my mouth and more savory.
Later as I tasted I got wilted rose petals and a little salinity. Going back to the clay, the nose always hit me as very fine particles (like clay and cocoa powder), which gave the wine a smoothness that I found really appealing.
I was really enchanted by this wine.
I will apologize for taunting you with this beautiful wine. This vintage is sold out. But…new vintages lay ahead ( I think they are bottling the 2017 Estate Pinot Noirs currently) and you can purchase their wines from their site.
Want to Visit?
They are typically open Fridays and Saturdays from 11-5. They are closed from December 17th, 2018 -February 1st, 2019 except by appointment. (So schedule an appointment or plan your trip after Feb 1st)
To schedule an appointment email them at [email protected]
Want more? Click through to all of our 12 Days of Wine posts!