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Château Ksara Old Vine Carignan, Lebanon 2018

Red Wine from Lebanon
This new wine from Lebanon's oldest winery is a delicious addition to the Ksara range. Carignan, a grape grown in southern France and Spain, succeeds in Lebanon's Mediterranean climate. This is herby, peppery and fresh with lovely red fruit.
Price: £12.95 Bottle
Price: £155.00 Case of 12
In Stock
Code: LE1161

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Carignan
  • 13% Alcohol
  • Oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Now to 2023
  • 75cl
  • Twin top

Chateau Ksara

Chateau Ksara is the oldest and largest winery in Lebanon, and with over 150 years of experience it is not surprising that their wines win awards every year.

Winemaking actually began in Lebanon a staggering 5,000 years ago, and the Christian faith even cites Jesus’ ‘'water to wine’ miracle happened here. This rich winemaking history means it is not surprising that it is Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley that hosts the ancient Roman temple of Bacchus – Roman God of wine – rather than other more famous wine-producing countries.

In fact, Chateau Ksara has fittingly religious roots: it was founded by Jesuit monks in 1857, who brought the winery through the first 120 years of its existence, only relinquishing control to local businessmen in 1973. It was these monks who discovered the stunning underground caves that are still used to store Ksara’s wines and that are part of the reason it is such a popular visitor attraction for wine lovers worldwide. The monks were also responsible for producing Lebanon’s first dry red wine.

At the end of the First World War, the French were mandated to govern Lebanon as part of the Versailles peace talks. This meant an insurgence of French soldiers and civil servants whose palates were not used to the traditional sweet raisin-based wines of Lebanon, so the monks began to plant more French varieties such as carignan, muscat and ugni blanc, setting them in good stead for the Rhône and Bordeaux varieties for which they are now famous.

Incredibly, the chateau ...
Chateau Ksara is the oldest and largest winery in Lebanon, and with over 150 years of experience it is not surprising that their wines win awards every year.

Winemaking actually began in Lebanon a staggering 5,000 years ago, and the Christian faith even cites Jesus’ ‘'water to wine’ miracle happened here. This rich winemaking history means it is not surprising that it is Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley that hosts the ancient Roman temple of Bacchus – Roman God of wine – rather than other more famous wine-producing countries.

In fact, Chateau Ksara has fittingly religious roots: it was founded by Jesuit monks in 1857, who brought the winery through the first 120 years of its existence, only relinquishing control to local businessmen in 1973. It was these monks who discovered the stunning underground caves that are still used to store Ksara’s wines and that are part of the reason it is such a popular visitor attraction for wine lovers worldwide. The monks were also responsible for producing Lebanon’s first dry red wine.

At the end of the First World War, the French were mandated to govern Lebanon as part of the Versailles peace talks. This meant an insurgence of French soldiers and civil servants whose palates were not used to the traditional sweet raisin-based wines of Lebanon, so the monks began to plant more French varieties such as carignan, muscat and ugni blanc, setting them in good stead for the Rhône and Bordeaux varieties for which they are now famous.

Incredibly, the chateau didn’t miss a single vintage during Lebanon’s war-ravaged years towards the end of the 20th century, and in 1993 it began planting cabernet sauvignon and syrah – the two varieties that now make up their ever-popular Réserve du Couvent wine.

Their vineyards are all in the central and western Bekaa Valley (Lebanon’s premium wine-production area) which gives them unique advantages: the surrounding mountains protect them both from the sea and the desert, and produce a microclimate of cool nights and hot days. At 1000m altitude, Ksara’s Mediterranean climate of rainy winters, mild springs, and hot, dry summers is assisted by a natural irrigation: water reaches the vineyard from melting snow on the mountains. French oenologists have assisted in guiding the chateau since 1974, and in the past decade they have helped introduce more modern vinification techniques and wire-trained vineyards, building on the already remarkable quality of their wines.

The Reserve du Couvent undergoes malolactic fermentation before being matured for 12 months in oak casks. The Rhône/Bordeaux clash in this syrah-cabernet blend is relatively uncommon, but its consistent popularity both in the top Lebanese restaurants and with our members proves Ksara definitely deserves its place as one of Lebanon’s most successful wineries.
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2018 vintage reviews

Vinosaurus

A new wine from Lebanon’s oldest winery, at an attractive price. Fresh and fascinating on the nose, with a lovely herbal note, there’s ripe red fruit, sage and black pepper, with the...
A new wine from Lebanon’s oldest winery, at an attractive price. Fresh and fascinating on the nose, with a lovely herbal note, there’s ripe red fruit, sage and black pepper, with the crisp redcurrant acidity keeping it all in check. A fantastic wine for Easter lunch, Carignan can be very tannic, but it’s in good hands here.
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- David Kermode

JancisRobinson.com

Glowing garnet. Nose of spice and, somehow, fur. Definitely different. Much richer than the average Languedoc Carignan. Really dense with a dry finish and a suggestion of some dry curry spices....
Glowing garnet. Nose of spice and, somehow, fur. Definitely different. Much richer than the average Languedoc Carignan. Really dense with a dry finish and a suggestion of some dry curry spices. Pretty developed tannins and no harsh acidity, just a tiny tightening on the end. Ready to drink! Good value.
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16/20

The Scotsman

From 60-year-old vines grown over 1000m in western Bekaa |Valley by Lebanon's oldest winery. This is remarkably approachable with herby, sweet, generous lush fruit with carignan's...
From 60-year-old vines grown over 1000m in western Bekaa |Valley by Lebanon's oldest winery. This is remarkably approachable with herby, sweet, generous lush fruit with carignan's characteristic bitter twist to the finish.
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- Rose Murray Brown

Sussex Express

From 60-year-old vines grown over 1000m in western Bekaa |Valley by Lebanon's oldest winery. This is remarkably approachable with herby, sweet, generous lush fruit with carignan's...
From 60-year-old vines grown over 1000m in western Bekaa |Valley by Lebanon's oldest winery. This is remarkably approachable with herby, sweet, generous lush fruit with carignan's characteristic bitter twist to the finish.
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- Rose Murray Brown

decanter.com

New to The Wine Society's range, this delicious modern red is Château Ksara's first vintage of single-varietal Carignan. Aged in concrete, there's no oak, just focused, lively red...
New to The Wine Society's range, this delicious modern red is Château Ksara's first vintage of single-varietal Carignan. Aged in concrete, there's no oak, just focused, lively red fruit with a herbal twist. Good purity, good acidity, and great freshness. Would pair well with lamb chops.
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91/100 Amy Wislocki

The Critic

Ksara was founded by Jesuits and it’s easily the country’s biggest producer making a huge range of wines. In the last few years there’s been a new energy to the place with...
Ksara was founded by Jesuits and it’s easily the country’s biggest producer making a huge range of wines. In the last few years there’s been a new energy to the place with delightful wines like this, the first varietal carignan from Lebanon. It’s packed full of summer pudding, lavender, and rosemary with a little nuttiness on the finish.
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- Henry Jeffreys

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