Decanter experts give their verdict, tasting notes and drinking windows on the best Lebanon wines.
Despite a turbulent political history, during recent years wine in Lebanon has flourished, says Christina Pickard, with the best producers balancing tradition and modernity with power and delicacy. See Christina’s pick of five of the best from Lebanon here…
Ixsir, Altitudes White 2010
40% Muscat, 30% Viognier, 15% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Semillon. Grapey perfume and zippy lemon notes with a palate of Mediterranean spices, white flowers, stone fruit and a muscular, chewy texture.
Price £15.95 Great Western, Harper Wells, Hedonism, Lebanos
Domaine des Tourelles, Marquis des Beys, Bekaa Valley 2005
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Syrah. Leaf, tobacco and cedar perfumes with ripe blackberries in the background. The palate of juicy fruit and spice reveals grippy tannins and fresh acidity.
Price £20–£30 (2009) Guildford Wine Co, Hennings
Karam Winery, St John, Jezzine 2006
Cabernet, Syrah, Merlot. Flavours of plums, nectarines and cherries with earthy tones. The still-prominent tannins and acidity promise more years of ageing, but it’s great to drink now too.
Price £27 Kingswood Wines
Château Ksara, Cuvée de Troisième Millénaire, Bekaa Valley 2008
40% Petit Verdot, 30% Cabernet Franc, 30% Syrah. Distinctly Lebanese with a heady nose of spice, incense and blackberries and a palate of sandalwood and liquorice. Big round tannins and fantastic acidity. Needs food.
Price £26.70–£34.50 CorkingWines, Slurp
Chateau Ka, Cadet de Ka, Bekaa Valley 2008
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah, 10% Merlot. Likeable nose of dried herbs and potpourri with a palate of cherries and more Mediterranean herbs.
Price £8.99 Marks & Spencer