Château Ksara launches rare white from Merwah grape

Drinks: Drinks

Château Ksara, Lebanon’s largest wine producer, has launched a white wine made 100% from the indigenous Lebanese grape variety Merwah.

Rich and nutty, Merwah (pronounced mare-wahr) is believed by some experts to be a clone of Semillon. It is often used in Lebanon as a table grape, though Château Musar is one of a small number of producers to vinify it.

The Château Ksara Merwah is grown in a single vineyard site in the north of the Bekaa Valley at an altitude of 1600m. From 60-year-old vines on terraced vineyards, it is the last of all of Chateau Ksara’s wine grapes to ripen, with the crop picked in October, six weeks after most other Lebanese white wines.

The grapes are dry-farmed and hand-picked, with winemaker Eli Maamari describing it as ‘to all intents and purposes organic.’

Clean and fresh, it’s vinified without oak, though has a little time on fine lees. Maamari describes it as being ‘slightly floral, with good acidity – like a Sauvignon/Semillon’.

Some 400 12-bottle cases are destined for the UK, available through Ksara’s UK importer Hallgarten & Novum Wines, priced £11 ex VAT.


About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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