Lebanon has a 5000 year history of wine growing. This is a new wine from Caves de Monastere St Jean, which is based in a monastery in the mountains of Mount Lebanon. They’ve been making wines since 2006, but this is the first under the Sendiäna label. The grapes are sourced from the monastery’s own vineyards (two, both at 1000 m altitude) and contracted growers in the Bekaa Valley. It’s a blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Franc and Mourvèdre.
The main winemaker here is Father Charnel Hajjar, with help from UK-based consultant winemaker Ulrich Hoffmann.
Sendiäna Grand Vin 2013 Lebanon
12.5% alcohol. A deep coloured but fresh Lebanese red with lovely sleek black cherry and blackcurrant fruit supported by fine, cedar, spicy notes. There’s a hint of black olive here, and also just a hint of attractive greenness, as well as some lively peppery notes. Showing moderate alcohol and a nice combination of sweet fruit and savoury spiciness, this is a really classy effort. It’s not a blockbuster style, but it shows really nice restraint and balance, and should age very well. More old world than new, I reckon. 90/100
The wine isn’t yet available in the UK, but Uli is working on this. Price to be confirmed