Three whites from Lebanese producer Chateau Ksara

Tried this trio of whites from Lebanese winery Chateau Ksara last night. It’s a twenty-one hectare property located in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, which is at altitude and has a semi-continental climate, with cold winters and long dry summers. Of particular note here is the varietal Merwah, which I believe is the only one made on a commercial scale.

Chateau Ksara Blanc de Blancs 2017 Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
13% alcohol
£12.99 Great Wines Direct, Whole Foods
A blend of Sauvignon (55%), Semillon (25%) and Chardonnay (20%). Full yellow in colour this has attractive yellow plum and peach fruit with a bright citrus framing, but also a substantial impact from savoury, cedary, spicy oak. Full flavoured and appealing, but quite oaky. 87/100

Chateau Ksara Merwah 2018 Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
12.5% alcohol
£15 Harrods, Handford Wines, Wholefoods
Made from 60+ year old vines at 1500 m on a terraced hillside. This is bright, floral and expressive with pure citrus and table grape notes, with some honeysuckle highlights. It’s crisp and linear with good acidity and a real brightness to the fruit, finishing with a pleasant bitter tang. 90/100

Chateau Ksara Blanc de Observatoire 2017 Bekaa Valley
12.5% alcohol
£11 Whole Foods, Fintry Wines
A blend of Obeidy (30%), Muscat (30%), Clairette (30%) and Sauvignon (10%). Full yellow in colour this has a lovely stone fruit character with some peachy richness countered by lemony brightness. It’s really nicely balanced and has some real character: it’s not just another crisp dry white. 89/100

UK agent: Hallgarten

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