Domaine de Tourelles Red, 2018, 750ml
Wine production in Lebanon dates back to the times of antiquity when the Greeks and Romans found inspiration for winemaking in this region. The mountains surrounding the Bekaa Valley is some of the most highly regarded terroir with its limestone soil base and its extraordinary altitude. It remains one of the highest altitude production zones in the world. Domaine des Tourelles was founded in 1868 and has produced wine continuously through a mutlitude of geo-political changes and wars, including a civil war. But the modern era of Lebanese winemaking is definitely French influenced and look no further than winemaker Faouzi Issa who studied winemaking abroad and staged at wineries, Rene Rostaing in Cote Rotie and Chateau Margaux in Bordeaux. His passion for the varietals of those regions finds its own Lebanese spin where blending of those grapes is commonplace and helps define the region's character. The rouge is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan planted on sandy clay-limestone soils. Fermented with indigenous yeasts, the wine is brought up entirely in concrete tanks, some of the original ones built in the cellars a century and a half a go. Perfumed with red and black fruits, the distinct cigar box notes and spicy palate make for great pairings with the well seasoned grilled meat dishes of the region. The winery is practicing organic.