Summer reflections

The Lebanese summer can be something of an assault course, what with friends and relatives jetting over and endless (but nonetheless fun) al fresco dining. With the temperature at times in the high 30s, it’s easy to see why Lebanon’s traditionally ‘big’ reds don’t get much of a look in. However, the two bottles of Chateau Ksara 2003 I pulled off the rack in a moment of “I wonder what this is like now” was sublime, Massaya’s Selection continues to be pound for pound the best red on the market and Heritage’s Fleuron 08 (the 09 is sadly disappointing) is still my favorite quaffing wine.

I normally opt for a gutsy rose in summer but this year, Lebanon’s white wines have scrubbed-up really well, especially the Chardonnay’s which have demonstrated that it is still the groovy grape despite being dogged by years of unfair ennui. The stand out for me was the Ixsir Grande Reserve (Chardonnay Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc), which is everything one should expect from a flagship white. Bags of flavor, balance, acidity and intelligent use of wood.

There are about half a dozen whites in this segment. Others that are worth a go that didn’t make it onto table this summer are Marsyas, Domaine de Baal and Chateau Kefraya’s Vissi D’Arte.

Roses are still on the move and I am predicting that most producers will have seen record sales. The local market is still dominated by Ksara and Kefraya but I am certain that consumers are now seeking out labels – Ixsir, Domaine des Tourelles and the Karam Winery’s Arc en Ciel in particular – that offer a different experience.

Anyway for what it’s worth, here’s what the Karams drank this summer. I had planned to write tasting notes for them all but I cant be bothered this time. Let’s just say they are all really really good. There!

Till next time

Reds

Chateau Ksara 2003

Chateau Musar Hochar Pere et Fils 04

Domaine des Tourelles 08

Massaya Selection 07

Heritage Fleuron 08

 

Whites

Chateau Ksara Cuvee de Pape 09

Chateau St Thomas Chardonnay 2010

Coteaux de Botrys Prince Blanc 09

Domaine des Tourelles 2010

Ixsir Grande Reserve 2009

Ixsir Altitudes 2010

Massaya 2010

 

Rosés

Karam Winery Arc en Ciel 2010

Domaine des Tourelles 2010

Massaya 2010

Domaine Wardy 2010

Ixsir Altitudes

 

 

 

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