Old Vine Lebanese Cinsault arrives in UK

Chris Losh

Chris Losh

27 January 2017

History will be made next week with the arrival in the UK of the first old-vine Cinsault from Lebanon for over 40 years.

The Domaine des Tourelles Vieilles Vignes Cinsault 2014, from 50-year-old vines grown at 1000m altitude in the Bekaa Valley, is being unveiled at a special tasting in London on Tuesday 31 January.

The first old-vine Cinsault from Lebanon for 40 years
The first old-vine Cinsault from Lebanon for 40 years

It is imported by Boutinot, and has a trade price of £10.83 ex VAT a bottle (£65/case of six).

Cinsault was widely planted in the Bekaa in the 19th century, but fell out of favour with winemakers who tended to prefer ‘nobler’ varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon.

The wine from this particular vineyard used to be blended away, but following the purchase of the land by Domaine des Tourelles, the decision has been made to launch it as a stand-alone wine.

Fermented in concrete tanks, the wine spends eight months in used French oak barrels.

‘We know that historically Cinsault in the Bekaa Valley has produced some fantastic wines with huge ageing potential,’ says winemaker, Faouzi Issa. ‘I believe this supple wine beautifully reflects the terroir of the Bekaa Valley, with plenty of ageing potential.’

Imbibe readers will be able to put Issa’s claim to the test, by tasting a 1976 Domaine des Tourelles Cinsault with him at the launch – alongside other 100% Cinsauts from around the world.

The launch takes place at Carousel, London, at 10.30. Places are limited, but interested Imbibe readers should contact Madeleine Waters on madeleine@weareco.co.uk.

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