2002 was a year full of pleasant surprises which look likely to continue……
After four successive years of drought, we had a long, rainy and cold winter
which lasted until June. This was followed by a mild July and hot August. The
vines took longer to reach maturity than average and the harvest started almost
two weeks later than in previous years. The maturity level varied from vineyard
to vineyard forcing us to be selective in our harvesting – the grapes were all hand
picked in the early mornings.
The grapes began arriving at the winery on the 15th September and we had to
lower the average fermentation temperature to give the yeast the ability to finish
transforming the sugar into alcohol.
Fermentation in concrete vats went perfectly well but slowly with the
temperature kept below 31 degrees and this very long fermentation and
maceration were totally unexpected. The wine was racked six months after the
harvest and then put into French nevers oak barrels for one year. The three
varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan which up until then had
been kept separately, were blended in the following summer of 2004 and bottled
in July and August 2005.
The grapes of this year were characterised by high levels of sugar, acidity and
tannins and the resulting wines are much bigger, riper and fuller than expected.
An exceptional year, as normally in Lebanon, high sugar content means less
acidity but in 2002 everything was there!
A deep crimson – even blood red colour with an intense and complex nose of
spicy red fruits, cedar with deeper plum notes. Generous red and black fruits
follow through to the palate combined with Christmas cake spices, figs, dates
and stewed plums. Good acidity, silky tannins with a rich fruited palate end
with a long promising finish.