Get to know: Domaine des Tourelles, Vieilles Vignes White
Here's a really interesting wine for those who like to try things off the beaten track. A 50/50 blend of Merweh and Obeidi - indigenous Lebanese varieties from low yielding old vines. The Merweh vineyards are over 100 years old and have not been pruned for the last two decades, resulting in extremely low yields and concentrated flavours. The nose has natural aromas of ripened grapes, apple skin and a mix of herbs and spices. Mineral and savoury on the palate, the wine shows notes of dried figs and fresh almonds on the finish.
Try with a Mezze feast with fresh flatbreads and bowls of smoky baba ghanouj.
Domaine des Tourelles was founded in 1868 by French adventurer François-Eugène Brun and is one of the most highly acclaimed and oldest wineries still operating in Lebanon. It was also the first commercial cellar in 'modern' Lebanon to produce wines, arak and other spirits. Today, this Bekaa Valley estate is run by the three Issa children - twins Faouzi and Johanne and their sister Christiane, alongside Emile Issa-el Khoury, son of one of the co-owners. This young and dynamic combination 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.