The Wines of Lebanon

In the latest online issue of Saveur Newsletter, they posted an article called Drinking The Wines of Lebanon. In it they state, “… The wines of Lebanon wines are often compared to those of Bordeaux and the Rhône, perhaps due to the country’s political and cultural relations with the French over the past century, but they are something uniquely their own. These so-called “Ancient World” wines are on the rise, and today, about 35 wineries are currently producing wine in and around Lebanon’s fertile Bekaa Valley, whose winter rain and hot, summer sunshine help the grapes ripen easily.”

At the latest Board meeting of the Treasure Valley Wine Society, there was a great discussion on the wines of the Mediterranean area. There might be a tasting coming up early next year with these wines in mind. In the meantime, you may want to read the article as listed above.

Here are some excerpts from the article. Do enjoy and please read the entire article. Cheers!

… the country’s vineyards and winemaking have one of the longest-stretching viticultural histories on the planet, through Biblical times, the Roman Empire, and even into the Middle Ages — which is about when historical records began chronicling the practice of winemaking in Burgundy. [M]any of the Lebanese wines [are] available in the US, including wines by Chateau Musar, Massaya, and Chateau Kefraya.

The whites had a crazy range of aromas, from passion fruit and pineapple to cut grass and crushed walnuts, but then on the palate, they were surprisingly racy and acidic, even sour.

Lebanon’s reds seemed a bit more traditional at first, using blends of grapes that I was more accustomed to, but it became very clear that these winemakers were willing to experiment, which led to a wide range of styles: rich, powerful tannins and alcohol from the ripe fruit; potent spice from heavy use of cinsault; dark fruits and aromas from cider to earth, with an eye toward ageing in a world that wants its wines now.

The online article – the link is above – is full of information about these little known wines. It also has a listing, a description and the prices, of some of the available wines. The price range here is from $13.00 a bottle to $65.00 a bottle. Cheers!

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