The winter preceding the 1998 harvest was a normal Lebanese winter – a mixture of cold, rainy and snowy weather with several weeks of sunshine. This was followed by a cold, wet spring which lasted until June. Summer followed its normal pattern, although from June until October there was no rain at all. The harvest started on the 9th September with mixed maturity levels: some grapes were already quite mature, whilst we delayed harvesting others for up to two more weeks. There was no obvious reason for this diversity, but this is “les caprices de la nature”. The crop was good in terms of both quality and quantity – the grapes were healthy and very good to eat.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan
The cooler 1998 has an elegant Cinsault dominance; the colour is lighter and more delicately perfumed than a typical vintage. Despite this initial impression, the wine is deceptively powerful with a vibrant acidity and fresh, soft red fruit flavours and a very long, spicy finish. The ideal partner to mushroom and game dishes.
Robert Partker: 90 points