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Massaya, Le Colombier Red 2017
Grenache 35%, Cinsault 35%, Tempranillo 30%
Sami and Ramzi Ghosn
Slightly lighter than previous vintages, this shows ripe red and black berry fruit, with white pepper and spice wrapped with ample leather, tobacco and even a hint of coffee to give depth to the juicy fruit. This is a really appealing and unique wine with juicy fruit and of real interest to Rhone lovers. Perfect with simply roast or grilled beef or pork.
Grapes grown on the hillsides of the Beqaa Valley at 900 to 1 200 metres above sea level. Grapes are hand-picked, conveyed in crates, and sorted on tables outside the vat room. They are fully destemmed, then undergo traditional fermentation for 20 to 30 days in stainless-steel vats. Matured in vats for 1 year. Bottled at about 12 months.
Massaya is run by brothers Sami and Ramzi Ghosn in partnership with Frederic and Daniel Brunier from Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe and Dominique Hebrard, formerly from Chateau Cheval Blanc. Until recently Massaya's vineyards have solely been located in the fertile Beqaa Valley, at an altitude of 1000 metres above sea level. At these Tanal vineyards the slopes are protected by Mount Lebanon and the Anti-Lebanon mountains. Free of frost and disease the Beqaa Valley enjoys a unique climate with long gentle summers, wet winters and an average temperature of 25C, perfect for viticulture. However, over the last seven years Sami and Ramzi together with Frederic and Daniel Brunier, have developed Massaya vineyards in the more extreme, mineral areas of the Beqaa valley, moving onto hillside sites to the North East (Ras Baalbek) and North West (Hadath Baalbek), as well as further north of Baalbek. These vineyards are planted with Grenache and Mourvedre for the red wines, and Obeidi, Clairette, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Vermentino for the Massaya white. In July 2014 Massaya opened their new high altitude winery in Faqra on Mount Lebanon. It is situated 1750 metres above sea level, at the foothills of the Mount Lebanon ski resorts. It overlooks Faqra, the highest altitude Roman temple in the world, and across the horizon it has views over the Mediterranean. The Massaya Faqra winery is used for the vinification of the white wine, as well as for the maturation of some of the red wines. Massaya's reputation has developed further with the arrival of the spectacular Cap Est. Grapes for the wine come from a 7 hectare chalky site on the hillsides in the most north-easterly portion of the Beqaa Valley at an altitude of 1,200m, in the Ras Baalbek area. It is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Mourvedre, which was matured in oak for 22 months. This wine is a rare jewel that delivers both authenticity and great style. It is fantastic that this ancient wine region is once again producing a wine to rival the best in the world. The Rose, made entirely from Cinsault, is also a huge success. Harvesting is done by hand in the early morning hours, and fermentation and aging are in stainless-steel vats to retain freshness. Bottling is after eight months and the resulting wine is a delightfully delicate, fragrant rose in a Provencal style. It is the perfect aperitif and also works very well with seafood dishes and Lebanese meze.
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