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Producer: Chateau KsaraGrape Varieties: BlendedOptimum Drinking: Within 3 yearsWine Style: Cranberry and spice on the palateAlcohol by Volume: 13Closure: Natural CorkCountry: Lebanon
Warm and savoury Mediterranean style wine with herbal and smoky nuances and finishing on a spicy note.
Château Ksara is Lebanon's oldest winery. Its traditions can be traced back to 1857 when a group of Jesuit monks acquired the property. The Jesuits applied their knowledge of science and agriculture to plant French vines as well as developing two kilometres of Roman caves that proved ideal for the storage of wine. The Jesuits sold the winery to its current owners in 1973. Ksara is now the most modern winery in the region as well as the largest producer in the country. Their annual production is over 2.8 million bottles and they sell their wines in more than 40 countries worldwide. Château Ksara is certified ISO 9001 and ISO 2200.00 for its viticulture, production and sales guaranteeing quality and consistency year on year.
The 2016 vintage saw a very mild summer with 760 mm of rainfall, resulting in even ripening. The grapes were in excellent condition at harvest time and resulted in balanced wines with concentrated flavours.
Ksara's vineyards are located in the central and western Bekaa Valley at an average altitude of 1,000 metres. The Bekaa enjoys dry summers and has the advantage of its own natural water table, courtesy of the melting snow that runs off the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountain ranges, therefore no irrigation is needed in the vineyards. The slopes on either side of the valley and the valley itself, create a unique microclimate in which the cool nights compensate for the hot summer days. Vines are either double Guyot or cordon trained and their grapes can be considered to be grown organically because of the very limited used of sulphur-based pesticides. Harvesting is manual and the standard yield of the vineyards is between 40 and 45 hectolitres per hectare.
The grapes were manually harvested and transferred to tank for fermentation. The Cinsault was fermented for a short time to retain its freshness; the Syrah and Carignan were fermented for a longer period in order to extract aromas and spicy flavours, while the Cabernet Sauvignon underwent a long skin contact, expressing length and elegance in the final wine. The free run and press wines from each variety underwent malolactic fermentation in separate vats. They were then matured for 14 to 18 months before being blended, fined and bottled.
Bright, intense ruby red in colour, the exotic fruit aromas combine with notes of delicate notes of spice and liquorice. A mellow wine with supple tannins, leading to a lovely long and spicy finish. Quite delicious.
Serve at room temperature with a slow roasted leg of lamb, a hearty stew and grilled red meats.
Carignan 30%, Cinsault 30%, Syrah 30%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%
Silver, IWSC, 2018
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