Text Size:-+

2002 Chateau Ksara "Gris de Gris" Rose, Bekka Valley, Lebanon

Like in Egypt, winemaking in Lebanon has a long history, stretching back well before 1000 B.C. Lacking Egypt's well preserved historical records, Lebanon cannot be sure when winemaking began, but records elsewhere show that at least as early as the Phoenician times, Lebanon was a world famous winegrowing region. Slightly more recently the famous temple of Bacchus in the heart of the Bekka valley is a testament to the Greek worship of the wine god in about 200 BC.

The Bekka Valley is the heart of Lebanon's winegrowing region. It sits at about 3000 feet above sea level between two mountain ranges which ensure cooling temperatures and block precipitation to make the growing season very similar to that of California. Most of the grapes grown in the region bear the signs of French influence during colonial times: Alicante, Cinsaut, Carignan as well as a few other varietals including Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah. The region also produces two indigenous varietals, Obaideh (which some believe is Chardonnay) and another white varietal known as Merweh.

Chateau Ksara is one of Lebanon's oldest operating wineries, and one of three that are relatively well known internationally. Ksara, which means "fortress" was built on the site of a large fortress established during the crusades and then later taken over by the Jesuits, but at that time the property had been producing wine for quite some time. In fact, the estate's wine cellar, a deep natural grotto of limestone bears marks of being used for that purpose by the Romans.

Today Chateau Ksara farms about 50 acres of estate grapes (Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon) on the property and about 900 acres throughout the Bekka valley and in other winegrowing regions in Lebanon.

Ksara's grapes are organically grown without pesticides and herbicides, easily possible given the ideal climactic condition, and all harvesting is done by hand.

This wine is a rose made from Carignan and Grenache Gris. After picking, destemming and crushing, the grapes are given a short cold soak and then fermented in steel tanks at low temperatures and racked before it can undergo a secondary fermentation. It is fined and cooled to stabilize the wine, and then quickly bottled.

Tasting Notes:
A light rose color tinged with copper, this wine has a lovely nose that combines earthiness with tart citrus aromas of rosehips. In the mouth it is dry and refreshing, with excellent acidity and a mélange of flavors including kumquat, green apples, roses, and minerals.

Food Pairing:
This wine goes exceptionally well with Middle Eastern food of various sorts, from vegetables, to meat, to rice. Try it with a roasted eggplant and pepper salad with pita bread and tahini.

Overall Score: 8.5

How Much?: $11

This wine may be difficult to find in the US. There are other wines from Chateau Ksara available for purchase on the Internet, however.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Vinography Images: Cold Snap Cincinnati Here I Come! Happy Thanksgiving from Vinography Vinography Unboxed: Week of November 23, 2014 Putting a Cork in Your Thanksgiving Wine Anxiety Plumbing the Depths of Portugal: A Tasting Journey Vinography Images: Rain at Last The Mysterious Art of Selling Direct Critical Consolidation in Wine What Has California Got Against Wineries?

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.