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.