on the range

Former Becker Winemaker Russell Smith's Wines Now In Austin

Quality Spanish wines priced to party

By Wes Marshall, 9:50AM, Thu. Dec. 5, 2013

Former Becker Winemaker Russell Smith's Wines Now In Austin
Illustration Courtesy of Russell Smith

Russell Smith spent 13 years as winemaker at Becker Vineyards. During that time, the winery’s reputation continually grew as their wines kept getting better and better. Becker fans know Russell eventually followed his dream and bought a vineyard in the Montsant area of Spain just south of Barcelona.

We had high hopes for his wines and they are every bit as good as we expected. He has really knocked it out of the park with his high end wine under the name Cellar D. Russell Smith ($19.99). It is made with his own grapes and is a blend of Cariñena and Garnacha (Carignan and Grenache). This is a wine that is abundantly fruity and fresh, but unlike many Spanish wines, it is soft enough to drink young.

He is also making three wines under the Barcelona Cellar label, a blanco, a rosado, and a tinto, all at the great price of $9.99. These wines are easy to drink and go great with food. They are made from grapes that he purchases from other vineyards, much as he often did with Becker. The blanco is a combination of Garnacha Blanca and Chardonnay; the rosado is a blend of Garnacha, Tempranillo, Cariñena, and Syrah; and the tinto is made from Garnacha and Cariñena. These are all traditional blends that have been used in Cataluña for hundreds of years.

By the way, if you are a fan of Priorat wines, you might like to know that Russell’s personal vineyards are within 200 yards of Priorat. Given that Priorat wines can run over $500, Cellar D. Russell Smith’s $19.99 price tag is quite a bargain. These are all limited production wines available at most Twin Liquors outlets,

write a letter