2011 Lebanese releases: Part I

(Medium and full-bodied reds to follow soon)

Rosés

Château Clos St Thomas

Les Gourmets 2010

Syrah, Petit Verdot and Cinsault. Deep blush hue. On the nose, there are floral and berry notes with pleasing savory undertones. Soft but not flabby in the mouth. The finish is of lovely, rounded and ripe pears. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Château Kefraya

Myst de Château Kefraya 2010

Cinsault, Grenache Noire, Tempranillo, Mourvedre and Carignan. Deep pink hue. Aromas of white flowers. In the mouth the texture is silky with a lovely spicy finish. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Château Ksara

Sunset 2010

Cabernet Franc and Syrah. Elegant with cracking acidity and a barrel load of berry fruits with a punchy, spicy finish. Lebanon’s best selling rosé. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Domaine des Tourelles 2010

Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Tempranillo and Cinsault. Deep pink. Gutsy, bold and iconic. A full-on rosé with a lovely body and bursting with a kaleidoscope of fruity flavors. I see a Sunday lunch of lamb chops and I smell rosemary. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Domaine Wardy 2010

Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Orangey pink hue. Nose of green almonds. In the mouth the acidity is balanced and there are flavors of ‘green’ fruits and loquat. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Whites

 

Château Kefraya

Blanc de Blancs 2010

Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Muscat, Clairette, Bourboulenc and Ugni Blanc. Deep straw hue. Buttercup nose. In the mouth the structure is pleasant with a dominant citrus character and a sustained finish. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Château St Thomas

Les Gourmets 2010

Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Pale gold hue. Savory nose with hints of nuts. In the mouth it is well-structured with decent acidity and lovely guava finish. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Domaine Wardy

Clos Blanc 2010

Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier. Light straw hue. Strong notes of grapefruit on the nose and the mouth. Alive and kicking but should settle. Promises to be super summer tipple. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Domaine Wardy

Sauvignon Blanc 2010

Pale, almost ethereal color. Typical Sauvignon Blanc aromas of spices and white currant. Citrus in the mouth and a strong peppery finish. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Light and fruity reds

Château Kefraya

Les Bretèches 2008

Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Tempranillo, Carignan and Mourvedre.

Jezzine, South Lebanon

Deep Purple hue. Tell-tale nose of cassis and peppers. Nice acidity. Bags of fruit, especially on the middle palate. Majority Cinsault. A Lebanese classic. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Château Ksara

Cuvée de Printemps 2009

Gamay and Tempranillo. Mild purple hue. Supple and fruity and positively exploding with blackcurrants. Perhaps too fruity for some palates but for those who enjoy a chilled summer red, this will tick all the boxes. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Château Ksara

Le Prieuré 2008

Carignan, Cinsault, Mourvedre and Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep Purple hue. Spicy nose. Meaty flavors backed-up with bags of forest fruits. Verging on the medium-bodied and so not as easy a drinking wine as the price segment might suggest. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Château Musar

Cuvée 2009

Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Mid-cherry hue. Integrated fruits with a blanket of spices. A wine that is balanced and well-structure from a winemaker whose reputation needs no introduction. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Domaine des Tourelles 2008

Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Intense scarlet hue. One of the finds of the year so far. A beautifully structured wine that screams sun-baked fruits that are held together with natural tannins.  There is fruit there is spice and there is body with no one overpowering the other. A secret that is sure to get out soon. Price range: $5-$10*

 

Domaine Najm 2007

Northern winery. Glassy cherry hue. Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Mourvedre. Slightly dusty nose of otherwise intense peppers. In the mouth, it is equally spicy, but the overall effect is quite pleasing once one adjusts to a style that is very reminiscent of Château Musar. A grower. P.O.A

 

*Lebanese off-trade prices

 

 

 

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