Massaya Rosé 2020

Massaya Rosé 2020

Taurus Wines
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75cl * 13.5% ABV * Beqaa Valley, Lebanon

It was after the civil war in 1992 that Sami and Ramzi Ghosn reclaimed their family’s land and began creating a vineyard and a traditional distillery. They first produced an arak, in a distinctive blue bottle, the success of which led the brothers to abandon their individual careers in architecture and finance and marketing and roll up their sleeves the way farmers do. The first bottles of arak were produced in 1994, with wine following in 1998.

They joined forces with Frédéric and Daniel Brunier from Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe and Dominique Hebrard, formerly from Château Cheval Blanc. In 1997 only a few historical wineries were in control of all the wine production in Lebanon and no one challenged these household staple brands, but the Ghosns and their French partners believed they could join this small wine market on the condition that Massaya focus on quality and keep the size of the winery and vineyards human. From just four wineries in 1998, Lebanon now has more than 45 wineries.

Their rosé, made entirely from Cinsault, and in a Provencal style, is delightfully delicate and fragrant. Harvesting is done by hand in the early morning hours, and fermentation and aging are in stainless-steel vats to retain freshness. This has produced an elegant, rounded rosé with strawberry hues, aromatic notes of raspberry, summer stone fruit and subtle spice. Light and deliciously approachable, the Massaya Rosé is ideal with classic picnic foods, think shellfish, smoked salmon, cured meats, hard cheeses and roast ham. Equally, serve chilled either as an aperitif or as intended, with Lebanese mezze as suggested by Jancis...

"Mid pale rose colour. Very well mannered. Dry and interesting with real depth. They obviously view rose as a valid style. Lots of fruit but fresh and dry too. Bravo! I’m sure in a Beirut restaurant with meze this tastes like nectar. 16 Points." (Jancis Robinson, Purple Pages, June 2020)