2020 Domaine des Tourelles Rouge

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Any Lebanese wine we ever consider will, almost by requirement, be compared to Chateau Musar. This is not meant to discredit one of the world’s oldest wine producing regions, that of the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon; rather it is a credit to Serge Hochar and his family, for there would almost certainly be no Lebanese wine in this country if it weren’t for Serge and his immortal passion for the Bekaa. So, for one long sentence, let’s compare. While the Hochar family arrived in Lebanon in the 12th Century from France, six centuries before the Brun family of Domaine des Tourelles made roughly the same journey; commercial wine activity at Tourelles started in 1868, over 60 years before Serge’s father Gaston returned home from Bordeaux to plant his first vines. Now run by the Issa family, descendants of the Bruns, with Faouzi Issa at the helm, we fell instantly for this red and its white counterpart upon their arrival a couple of vintages ago. This is now considered the traditional Lebanese four-variety blend, from 15-20 year old vines growing in sandy clay limestone and heavier clay soils. The fruit is harvested by hand and fermented with indigenous yeast, then aged in century-old cement tanks that the Issas believe contribute greatly to the house style. Bring home some mezza from Cafe Beirut or Al Wadi to hit the nail on the head; or pair as you would any rich, savory, Mediterranean red. 

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