Massaya Classic White, Ghosn, Brunier & Hebrard, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 2021

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Massaya 'Classic White', Ghosn, Brunier & Hebrard, Beqaa Valley, Lebanon 2021

All the Massaya wines are served in brilliant restaurants around London (Andrew Edmunds, Moro, Alain Ducasses &. Annabel's, to name a few). Second Massaya has a proper dollop of class and elegance - the wines are made in partnership between the Ghosn brothers in Bekaa Valley and Frederic and Daniel Brunier from Vieux Télégraphe and Dominique Hebrard, formerly from Chateau Cheval Blanc.

The 'story' is fantastic - this wine is made in the highest altitude wine region of Europe (1000m) in the Bekaa Valley. A stone's throw away is the famous Temple of Bacchus, where the Phoenicians were making wine two millennia ago. The Massaya team interfere as little as possible with thier wines, and rely on the snow & frost & morning fogs to “refresh the soils”. Recently they have planted Cedar trees, Junipers and Oaks in the surrounding area to encourage biodiversity.

From vines of a minimum 20 years of age, the blend is currently the following; Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Clairette (35%) and Obeidi-a Lebanese grape variety rarely found elsewhere. The grapes for the white are grown on the foothills of Mount Lebanon at an altitude of at least 1200m above sea level. The grapes are all hand picked early in the morning to retain freshness. Once pressed the wine spends around 8 months in large old oak barrels before bottling.

This is a full bodied, quite floral, hints of pear, citrus and gentle spice. The wine is rich on the palate, floral again. with a lovely soft character, quite spicy,  a touch buttery and then a lovely fresh citrus finish. This is definitely a wine  familiar to fans of white Rhônes and delicious with fruity chicken tagine as well as falafel and smoked salmon.