Massaya tasting Pt.3: Reserve 07, 08, 09


Location: Tanail, Bekaa Valley

Established: 1998

Date: March 11, 2012

Tasted at: Sodeco, Beirut

Founded in 1998, Massaya’s arrival on the Lebanese wine scene dovetailed nicely with the first genuine stirrings of post-war optimism. The winery is a Franco Lebanese partnership forged between the Lebanese Ghosn brothers, the Brunier brothers of Domaine Le Vieux Telegraph and Dominique Hebrard, formerly of Chateau Cheval Blanc.


Gold Reserve

The “Gold Reserve” or simply the “Reserve” is Massaya’s flagship wine. It would be unfair to call it “International” in style, although many would place it in that segment but to do so would be to ignore the classy fruit, the elegant structure and a level of “tannin management” that recognizes that the discerning consumer will no longer pay good money to chew on wood. Pound for pound, I prefer Massaya’s Silver Selection but for fans of bigger, beefier wines, the Reserve has complexity, fruit and body.


Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon 50%, Mourvedre 40% and Syrah 10%



Cinnamon and black fruits on the nose. In the mouth, there are warm figs overlaid with licorice. The tannins are apparent but well-integrated, suggesting that the full complexity of the wine is still to come. The finish is nonetheless smooth with a “tail” of bell peppers.


Sweetness, leather and herbal aromas contribute to a pleasingly complex nose. In the mouth the texture is nicely rounded with notes of ripe black fruits. The finish is packed with fresh forest fruits, bell peppers and ends with a spearmint flourish.


Brooding nose with bags of black fruit overlaid with leather and tobacco. Supple in the mouth, the tannins are structured and allow a sense of balance from the front palate to a pleasant cassis and savory finish.


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