Château Marsyas: Sexy and glamorous with a whiff of intrigue

Location: Kefraya, Bekaa Valley

Established: 2005

Date: March 3, 2012

Tasted at: Tawlet Restaurant in Beirut

Château Marsyas is of two wineries owned by the Syrian-Lebanese company, Johnny R. Saadé Holding (the other is the Syrian Bargylus, whose grapes are grown on Jebel al-Ansariyeh on the outskirts of the port city of Lattakia). The winery made its first wines in 2007. The winery has retained the services of Stephane Derenoncourt, one of France’s most respected winemakers, as a consultant for both Lebanon and Syrian operations.

White 2010

Grapes: Chardonnay 60%, Sauvignon Blanc 40%
Alc:14.3%
Toffee gold hue with Citrus and apple aromas. Medium bodied with a pleasant, rounded texture with plenty of acidity and lemony fruit touch by the Bekaa valley sun with nutty overtones. The finish is powerful and spicy.

Red 2009

Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon 60%, Syrah 30%, Merlot 15% and Petit Verdot 5%
Alc:14.9%
Dark purple hue. Fresh mineral nose. Full-on black fruits in the mouth with secondary flavors of cassis and licorice. The finish is long and underpinned with bell peppers and berry fruits. (Like most Lebanese wines of this ‘build quality’, it needs time. I came back to it after an hour and the fruits and spices had opened up even more allowing the wine to give full expression to its complexity. From being standard international fare, it had become racy, sexy and glamorous with a whiff of intrigue…Lebanese in fact!)

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