Test driving Ixsir’s EL 2009

Ixsir EL

I managed to scrounge a bottle of the sought after El (2009), the new flagship wine from Ixsir, the $12 million winery that finally cemented Batroun’s status as Lebanon’s second wine making region.

I had tasted El in late summer for my new wine guide. This is what I wrote: “Made from Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Aged in oak for 18 months. Deep brooding purple. Licorice and menthol on the nose. Fresh, spicy complex and integrated. A wine that will appeal to fans of international style wines. Still young.”

It was a tasting on the hoof and I wanted to take my time and see how this obviously young, wine evolved over time after opening. So last Monday, I rolled up my sleeves and went to work.

This is what happened

Opened 17/12/12: Noon

As expected. More muscle than finesse. Left it to discover its inner muse.


That’s better! Woody nose. In the mouth, it is spicy, overlaid with blackcurrants and possessing good minerality and freshness with a lovely length. Tannins are present but are now well behaved and clearly well integrated. Trying to resist drinking the whole bottle.

18/12/12: Noon

The morning after the night before. Nose shyer than the previous day. More rounded in the mouth. Fruits richer and more evolved. Still freshness on the front palate and there is less astringency. There is menthol and cassis on the mid palate and the finish is tannic. Can’t make up my mind what was the better experience. The headiness of the first “date” or the “clarity” of the next day. I’m going to go with the former.


El 2009 is a wine made to the highest specs but one that needs at least four years to fully grow up. After that, it will go another ten and maybe longer. If you want to drink it now and enjoy its youthful vigor, decant for at least four hours.

Price Around LL75,000* ($50).

*Local shelf price


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    […] the major producers have a ‘muscular’ wine, the latest to land on our palate is Ixsir’s El (https://yourwinestyle.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/test-driving-ixsirs-el-2009/) and the Atibaia 09 of which I have written the following. “Aged for 14 months in Limosin oak, […]

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