Chateau Marsyas, B-Qa Marsyas Rouge 2016

£15.50 - bottle (75cl)

In stock

SKU: LEMA0316C

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Established in 2005 and planted 60km from Beirut on the alluvial plains of the Bekaa Valley at the foot of Mount Barouk, with an altitude that touches 990m, Château Marsyas’ 55 hectares of vineyards are steeped in history, dating back to the ancient civilisations. The Marsyas Valley, also known to the ancient Arabs as ‘Noah’s Valley’, in reference to the alleged burial site of the biblical prophet, is primarily known for the sacred temples of Baalbek/ Heliopolis, the city of the sun in which eastern and western worshipping cults took place. Owned by the Saadé family, Château Marsyas wines are produced in the belief that ‘wine is rooted in the earth’. Terroir came first, and the terroirs the family eventually chose were virgin land in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, founded on the search for excellence. Staying true to this philosophy, Sandro Saadé works with the help of the world famous Bordeaux winemaking consultant Stéphane Derenoncourt to produce superbly elegant wines with a unique character. Geologists understand the Bekaa is an alluvial plain cradled between two mountains. The vineyards are planted with 80% red grapes and 20% white grapes. The sun here shines 300 days a year. Winters are damp and cold, with temperatures often below zero; while the summers are hot, dry and often scorching. The altitude of 990m gives the vineyard a range of temperatures that favours the fruit qualities of the grapes, while maintaining their acidity. The first wines released by the estate were from the 2007 vintage.

Today 80% of Lebanese vineyards are located in the Bekaa. Alluvial deposits have given the land a foundation of compact limestone bedrock covered by 40-50cm of soil. The soil is red, evidence of iron, which together with white stones, forms a clay-limestone growing medium well suited to vines. The limestone gives the Lebanese terroir its special character and adds something to each grape varietal’s classic aromas. Picking at Château Marsyas is all done by hand and the grapes are transported in small crates to the winery. A first sorting is carried out in the vineyard, followed by a second sorting on arrival at the winery. After this double sorting, the red grapes are gravity-fed, with punching down. Vats are stainless steel and thermoregulated. Maturation for an average 12 months with one-third in new casks, one-third in one-year-old casks and one-third in two-year-old casks. The white wine is vinified in stainless steel, with extended lees contact for 3 months with no oak ageing. Stéphane Derenoncourt says: “Marsyas grapes are born of clayey soils, so they are naturally rich in alcohol and colour. It’s not necessary to go to extremes of extraction. Better to let things happen gently so as not to rush the tannins and maintain the acidity.”

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Description

Picking at Château Marsyas is done by hand and the grapes are transported in small crates to the winery. A first sorting is carried out in the vineyard, followed by a second sorting on arrival at the winery. The white wine is vinified in stainless steel, with extended lees contact for 3 months with no oak ageing. Stéphane Derenoncourt says: “Marsyas grapes are born of clayey soils, so they are naturally rich in alcohol and colour. It’s not necessary to go to extremes of extraction. Better to let things happen gently so as not to rush the tannins and maintain the acidity.”

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