2017 MASSAYA BLANC, FAQRA – MT. LEBANON, LEBANON
Author: Nik Rasula
About Collaboration: In 1998, after a chance encounter with prominent winemaking families the Hebrards of Bordeaux and the Bruniers of the Rhône Valley, the Ghosns partnered with both French dynasties. Assessing Lebanon’s landscape; the trio strategized planting aspect, varietal selection, and vineyard management; planting select whites on the cooler mountainside slopes, with reds set in the valley below.
About Terroir: Situated @ 1,700 metres in the chalky schist of Mt. Lebanon, the tiny (two-hectare) Faqra Vineyard sits amongst the highest elevations of any in the northern hemisphere. Here, long and gentle summers (average 25C) enable gradual grape development, prevailing breezes maintain vine health, cool evenings enhance grape character, and high-altitude snowfall supplies the required moisture.
About the Wine: A blend of equal parts Obeidi, Clairette, Rolle (Vermentino), Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay; the light golden pour precedes aromas of nettle, honeysuckle and fresh star fruit. In the mouth, the glycerin palate features flavours of quince, papaya and ripe golden apple preceding the long and stony finish.
About Obeidi: A native grape well suited to the hot Beqaa Valley, Obeidi is the only grape of the blend not grown on the mountain. Sourced from growers in the valley below, it provides texture and exotic fruit character to the Massaya Blanc blend.
Obeidi is the traditional grape used in the making of the popular Lebanese spirit Arak.
About Pairing: Moussaka, fowl with apple/pecan dressing, white fish, creamy cheeses.
About Sustainability: Eschewing formal certification, the Ghosn/Hebrard/Brunier partnership produces all-natural wines. Grown without the use of synthetic agents, Massaya wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts and bottled without filtration.
About Alcohol Level: 13% abv
About Availability: Check liquorconnect.com (call the listed store too) confirming availability. CSPC #814301