Lebanese wine

It used to be that there was really just Musar. All the other Lebanese wines I tried in the UK were pretty basic. Has this changed?

I had a glass of Ksara white yesterday, from a recent vintage (forgot to ask which year), and thought it pretty decent. With its slight saline sharpness, and possibly even a tiny amount of skin contact, to combat the intentional sourness of many mezze it had a real suitedness to its cuisine.

I've had various Ksara wines before but not for a while and it's clear that the worldwide improvement in techniques has floated all boats.

What am I missing, from Lebanon, if the only one I drink is Musar?
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
Jeremy,

I think you are not far off the mark in finding many of the wines other than Musar to be 'decent' or 'good' but lacking real distinction. Big players like Ksara or Domaine des Tourelles undoubtedly make very good wines, but it's hard to get over enthusiastic about them perhaps. My report from 2012 is still valid I think, highlighting 8 or 9 producers including IXSIR, who are good, but as Felix says, in a more international style (and not based in the Bekka Valley) Regional report: wines of Lebanon
 
Jeremy,

I think you are not far off the mark in finding many of the wines other than Musar to be 'decent' or 'good' but lacking real distinction. Big players like Ksara or Domaine des Tourelles undoubtedly make very good wines, but it's hard to get over enthusiastic about them perhaps. My report from 2012 is still valid I think, highlighting 8 or 9 producers including IXSIR, who are good, but as Felix says, in a more international style (and not based in the Bekka Valley) Regional report: wines of Lebanon
That's helpful, Tom.
Too many regions to keep up with.
If only they each had just one decent wine it'd be easy.
And awful.
 
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Tom Cannavan

Administrator
I agree - there are plenty of "decent" producers, but only one "exciting" one...

Yes. I don't want to do the lovely people and very good wines from other estates a disservice, but the unique combintation of Musar's a) quality, b) fame and c) idisosyncray means they are in a fairly unique situation. That's especially true given very few of us had tasted any othe Lebanses wines until relatively recently, so our picture and expectations were somewhat distorted.
 
That's helpful, Tom.
Too many regions to keep up with.
If only they each had just one decent wine it'd be easy.
And awful.
Jeremy, I can add to support your input "thank God the Dutch don't make wine" as you know, they make tomatoes, all looking the same. The same size, shape and very beautiful looking. But they fail every test I have for the joy of eating. Give me ugly-looking individual-tasting tomatoes any time for my moments of rejoicing, needless to say, I don't search for these in supermarkets.
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
I like Massaya - they make some quite serious reds, priced accordingly.

Their Le Colombier which is a bit cheaper (16 ish) is quite a family favourite.

That's good to hear - 'a family favourite'. I had just been thinking that I don't know anyone who's a regular follower of a particular Lebanese estate or wine, the way people follow a particular Rhone, or Swartland, or Central Otago producer for example. I am a supporter of many of the estates, some already mentioned in this thread, but don't know people who are waiting for the next release from Domaine X or get excited about a particular vintage. Other than Musar of course.

I taste Tourelles, Kefraya, Ksara, etc. quite regularly, and often find very good wines, but usually with the caveat that they seem a little bit expensive compared to equivalent wines from elsewhere. That's understandable, but is possibly a bit of a problem.
 
I taste Tourelles, Kefraya, Ksara, etc. quite regularly, and often find very good wines, but usually with the caveat that they seem a little bit expensive compared to equivalent wines from elsewhere. That's understandable, but is possibly a bit of a problem.
I think English wines may have a bit of the same problem. Increasingly decently made but not particularly competitive pricing.
 
Some (very well respected) people prefer the non-Musars, of course!

Jeremy, I can add to support your input "thank God the Dutch don't make wine" as you know, they make tomatoes, all looking the same. The same size, shape and very beautiful looking. But they fail every test I have for the joy of eating. Give me ugly-looking individual-tasting tomatoes any time for my moments of rejoicing, needless to say, I don't search for these in supermarkets.
Believe it or not hisham, the Dutch do actually have 1 decent winemaker..... de kleine schorre in zeeland.... Mainly whites - auxerois, rivener and pinotblanc/gris, its excellent with the local shellfish, and served I believe on KLM first class!
 

Tom Cannavan

Administrator
But then Kevin complains regularly (sorry Kevin) that people don't get excited about great New Zealand vintages either.... Seems maybe France and Italy, maybe Germany and some bits of Spain too, have monopolised vintage excitement ;)
 
Believe it or not hisham, the Dutch do actually have 1 decent winemaker..... de kleine schorre in zeeland.... Mainly whites - auxerois, rivener and pinotblanc/gris, its excellent with the local shellfish, and served I believe on KLM first class!
Thank you Edbevin. This will stop me from talking "dutch tomatoes" simile!
 
I noticed Aldi have a 2020 version available of their Wine of Lebanon Bekka Valley Red available at £8.99 in store. Last years 2019 was very nice so I picked up a few of the latest vintage. Interestingly the 2020 is 13.5% and IIRC the 2019 was 14.5%. Was certainly excellent value last year and I wonder if it will have aged well if anyone kept one aside?
Anyone know who bottles it for Aldi?
 
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