This coming weekend, February 4th and 5th, City Vino presents wines from Château Ksara, in the Bekaa Valley, in Lebanon. On Saturday, Jon Yeager, of International Cellars, will be your guide for the tasting, and will be sharing the story of the renowned winemaking property. The Château was founded in 1857 by the Jesuits, who would discover underground Roman-era cellars in 1898, which continue to be used to age the wines.
This incredible tasting of wine will begin with the 2020 Château Ksara Blanc de L’observatorie, which Château Ksara notes is “An Easy-Drinking Wine Steeped in Tradition. ”The name L’observatorie pays homage to the famous observatory built in 1902 by the founding Jesuits. The wine is a blend of Obeidy, Clairette, and Sauvignon Blanc. A beautiful, refreshing wine with fruit and floral notes – fullness from the Clairette, aromas from the Obeidy, and freshness from the Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is a lovely sipper that can be enjoyed with seafood, salads, goat cheese, hummus, dolomites, and more.
Our next wine, the 2020 Château Ksara Sunset Rosé, is a blend of 60 percent Cabernet Franc and 40 percent Syrah. It is listed as “Château Ksara’s Best-Selling Rosé, and Lebanese Icon Since 1974,” since it launched a “rosé culture” in Lebanon. With its lovely pink hue, the aroma and palate reveal red berries and spice. Suggested pairings include Mediterranean foods, featuring dried herbs, and Oriental cuisine, including sushi. Charcuterie or a vegetable tray would also be good with this wine.
Next up is the “Our Premium Red Varietal” per Ksara, and is the 2017 Château Ksara Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon from a single vineyard site, and was aged for 12 months in French oak of which 50 percent is new. A dark ruby-to-purple wine sits in your glass and a swirl and a sip reveal raspberries, black currant, and black cherries, along with hints of vanilla, spice, and leather. It is a fine wine now, but it will age beautifully over a decade or more. For pairing, this will sing with roasted game meats; red meats in rich sauces; and richer fish, if prepared with a red wine sauce.
Our final wine is the 2018 Château Ksara Château Rouge, which has been deemed by the winery as “A Bordeaux Blend with a Dash of Mediterranean Sunshine.” This wine is Ksara’s best-selling cuvée, and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2021. This Bordeaux blend is 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 percent Merlot, and 10 percent Petit Verdot. The grapes are fermented and aged separately for 12 months in 50 percent new French oak before being blended and bottled, and then aged in the Roman caves for two years before release. This wine may show aromas and flavors of blackberries, black raspberries, black currant, vanilla, baking spices, and leather. Mediterranean red meat dishes, five-spice rubbed lamb, shawarma, and other dishes would be great partners.
Please stop by the shop this weekend and try these amazing Lebanese wines from Château Ksara with Jon Yeager.