2018 Vielles Vignes Cinsault, Domaine des Tourelles, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
"In 2014 Tourelles made this wine for the first time, taking 70 year old Cinsualt bush vines, and fermenting and ageing the wine in concrete tanks with wild yeasts. It’s a really beautiful expression of Cinsault, with lovely aromatics of spice, wild strawberries, cherries and dried herbs. The palate has a nice structure that’s integrated beautifully with the silky texture of the red berry fruits, with lovely purity and drinkability. There’s some substance to this wine: it’s Glou Glou plus! Ripe but very well balanced. 94/100" Jamie Goode
The nose has an exotic mix of ripe fig, bright red cherry and plum fruit with star anise spice, it’s lifted and pronounced. The palate has beautifully ripe red fruit characters alongside fig and date notes. The acidity perfectly balances the generous flavours and leaves a pure, clean finish.
100% Cinsault. 14%. Suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians.
Cinsault has been farmed in the Bekaa Valley since the mid-19th century before ceding the way to new imported varieties. In 2014, Domaine des Tourelles decided to revive this grape by searching out very old Cinsault vines, over 50 years of age, and fermenting the wines in concrete tanks using wild yeasts and nothing else to offer the purest expression of that grape. The result is a supple wine that beautifully reflects the terroir of the Bekaa Valley, with an aging potential of several years.
DOMAINE DES TOURELLES was founded in 1868 by French adventurer François-Eugène Brun and is one of the longest established and most highly acclaimed wineries in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. This place has history. It was the first commercial cellar in Lebanon producing wines, arak and other spirits. Today the estate is run by three siblings Faouzi Issa, Christaine Issa and Emile Issa-el Khoury. This young and dynamic trio have introduced a handful of practices in the vineyards and cellar including the use of indigenous natural yeasts, no fining or filtering, and only very small amounts of sulphur. These techniques, twinned with fruit from ancient vineyards and a winery perfect for hands-off winemaking, make Domaine des Tourelles one of the finest boutique wineries in the Middle East.
Recommended on 30 March 2018 in Jancis Robinson's article on Lebanese wines.