“They will blossom as the vine, their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon.” —Hosea 750 BC
Lebanon is one of the world’s oldest wine growing regions. Most of the vineyards are located in the picturesque Bekaa Valley. The Bekaa enjoys dry summers and has its own natural irrigation courtesy of the melting snow that runs off the slopes of the surrounding mountain ranges. Saturday we’ll be tasting the work of two Lebanese wineries:
Château Ksara is Lebanon’s oldest and largest winery, dating back to 1857, when it was founded by a group of Jesuit monks. All of Ksara’s vineyards are located in the central and western Bekaa Valley, at an average altitude of 1,000 meters.
IXSIR is a newer winery with selectively chosen vineyards throughout Lebanon, spread from Batroun in the North, to Jezzine in the South, and the hillsides of the Bekaa Valley in the East.
2009 Ksara Blanc De L’Observatoire $13
Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat and Clairette
The Sauvignon gives finesse and elegance, the Muscat subtle flowery aromas, and the Clairette Fruity richness
2012 Ixsir Altitude White $20
40% Muscat, 30% Viognier, 15% Sauvignon, 15% Sémillon
This blend of four noble southern varieties, presents an elegant swirl of golden glittering robes. Breathing an exquisite bouquet of floral aromas with hints of Muscat and notes of grapefruit, this floral and fruity blend translates into a balanced and sharp palate hinted with spicy undertones. A soft touch of acidity gives the wine a pleasant freshness.
2009 Ksara Le Prieurée $13
This is a bright and intense ruby-red wine, with an exotic, fruity aroma with notes of licorice and spice. Made from Cinsault, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, it is a classic yet supple wine, perfect for daily consumption.
2010 Ixsir Altitude Red $20
35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah, 26% Caladoc, 17% Tempranillo.
With a black cherry color and garnet reflections, this wine unleashes fresh aromas that vary between red and black fruits, with a touch of oak. Its unique blending gives the wine a supple and delicate character where blackcurrant and blackberry merge.
2009 Ixsir Grand Reserve Red $36
61% Syrah, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon
Rich in minerals and saturated with Mediterranean character, this wine unleashes exuberant aromas of mature fruits and spices. Its concentrated taste enrobed in a fine texture gives it an attractive liveliness, while its rich and mellow yet always-complex palate lasts until the final touch of fruit.