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The events of the 34 day Israeli incursion into Lebanon in 2006 have once more placed the burgeoning Lebanese wine industry under an impossible strain. Many will remember the long-standing efforts of Serge Hochar, the owner of Château Musar, to continue to make his special and, in many respects, unique wine during the civil war. His success against all the odds earned him a Decanter Magazine Man of the Year Award which he thoroughly deserved. At the time of writing it is still uncertain how much damage has been inflicted upon the wineries and their vinyeards in the Bekaa Valley which bore much of the brunt of the Israeli assaults on Hezbollah.

Musar's key rival, Château Kefraya, has been around a long time but many other wineries have now grown up in the Bekaa Valley and the likes of Château Masaya are now keenly competing on the export market. Lebanon is most popular for its red wines but it also produces whites and rosés. The principal grape varieties are Syrah, Cinsault and Cabernet. The better reds are capable of long-ageing and it is not uncommon for devotees of such wines to lay them down for 20 or more years in great vintages.

Château Musar Red, 1999 - Serge Hochar

Chteau Musar Red, 1999 - Serge Hochar
Made predominantly from a blend of Cabernet-Sauvignon and Cinsault (Serge Hochar occasionally throws in some Syrah and Carignan as well) this wine is rounded and smooth with that typical hint of Musar 'volatility' - so much a benchmark of Musar's wines. The 1999 has flavours of raspberries and sour cherry with gentle tannins and a fine acidity.


Massaya Cuvée Classique, 2005 Bekaa Valley

Massaya Cuve Classique, 2005 Bekaa Valley
A complex, herbal nose leads to a fat, juicy fruitness and enticing smoothness.

The story of the Tanail Estate dates back to the beginning of the 1970s when the Ghosn family owned a large piece of land planted with table vines. At the beginning they made homemade Arak from the grapes grown on the property.

Sami and Ramzi Ghosn, the owners, learnt to love nature and it's greatest product - wine - during their childhood, but in 1975, war forced the Ghosn family to leave the estate, although they always knew they would return.

Seventeen years later Sami Ghosn, by then an architect working in Los Angeles, returned to Lebanon and revisited the war-ravaged family estate. The land worked its magic and he decided to give up everything in order to devote himself to bringing the domain back to life.

He revived the distillation of homemade arak and entrusted marketing to his brother Ramzi, who was at that time settled in France, managing his own restaurant company. The famous blue bottles of Arak were an instant success.

Tanail was reborn from its ashes but Sami Ghosn had still greater ambitions.

As far as he is concerned it is no coincidence that the Romans chose the Bekaa Valley as the site to build the temple of Bacchus in homage to their god of wine.

The Ghosn brothers were determined to realize their dream by bringing to life great wines at their Tanaïl Property. To do this they decided to bring in priceless know-how to one of the world’s oldest wine producing regions.

On 27 May, 1998, a partnership was formed with an ambition to produce a world class Lebanese wine in the Bekaa Valley. It brought together The Ghosn brothers - Sami and Ramzi - and Dominique Hébrard, owner of Chateau Trianon (and previous owner of Ch Cheval Blanc) and the Brunier brothers, Daniel and Frédéric, co-proprietor at Le Vieux Télégraphe.

The new wine was to have a limited annual production and it was to be called Massaya, named after the time of day when twilight sets on the vineyard and the sky turns purple as the sun sets behind Mount-Lebanon.

This prestigious Franco-Lebanese collaboration has united great men of wine and created optimum conditions for making great wine, taking advantage of the exceptional soil here in the Bekaa.

The vineyards of the Tanaïl Estate are located at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level in the Bekaa Valley, where the slopes are protected by Mount Lebanon and the Anti -Lebanon mountains. Free of frost and disease, the Bekaa Valley enjoys a unique climate with long gentle summers, wet winters and an average temperature of 25 degrees that is perfect for viticulture. The Cuvée Classique comes from Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Mouvedre grapes.


Louis Guntrum Dry Riesling
Louis Guntrum Dry Riesling
Deliciously fruity Riesling made traditionally by Louis Guntrum, 11th generation winemaker.

Guntrum Riesling
Essensia by Quady
Essensia by Quady
From 100% Orange Muscat with an aroma reminiscent of Orange Blossom and Apricot this is a delicious pudding wine for fruit based desserts.

Quady Essensia
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