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Château Ksara, Blanc de l'Observatoire

Château Ksara, Blanc de l'Observatoire

Behold! A star rises in the east

At the eastern end of the Mediterranean lies Lebanon, whose wine was famed in Biblical times but is rather less well-known today.  Yet Lebanese wine is on the ascendant.  In 1990 there were just three wineries; today there are more than forty.  The largest and oldest of them all is Château Ksara, founded by Jesuit monks in 1857.
This is their entry-level white but it’s also their most interesting, being crafted from an intriguing blend of local and lesser-known international varieties.  It’s named after the Château’s Observatory, which is depicted on the label.  Constructed by the monks in 1902, it was the first in the Middle East and is a famous Bekaa Valley landmark.  The wine is just as noteworthy, blessed with a fabulous wildflower nose and spicy grapefruit flavours.
Why yes, there is an 80s music video about Lebanon.  It even mentions wine…

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Available at £11.42 per bottle


There's little risk of muting this nose, so serve this unoaked and exotically aromatic white quite cold to emphasise its fresher aspects: around 8 or 9°C.  Give the pouch just a couple of minutes out of the fridge to warm up.  If your glass mists up then it’s still a bit too cold.
There was just a touch of reduction when I first opened the bottle, but not enough to make decanting essential.  You don’t have to plan in advance for this one, but (as with most whites) sloshing it out into a jug and pouring it back into the bottle will make it that bit nicer.
You can enjoy this on its own but it will really suit Lebanese meze, especially the smokier, fuller-flavoured ones like baba ghanoush, muhammara, tabbouleh and hummus, served with plenty of warm pita bread to scoop them up.

about this wine

Sauvignon Blanc
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Château Ksara
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