2019 Domaine des Tourelles Bekka Rouge
The estate Rouge from Domaine des Tourelles represents a classic blend – 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah, 15% Cinsault, and 5% Carignan – that many associate with the red wines of Lebanon but with the added twist of being entirely fermented and aged in the estate’s old concrete tanks. This makes for a lively and expressively aromatic wine that honestly reflects the hot summer days and cool nights of the Bekaa Valley. It is released in early spring to preserve its juicy dark fruit.
Founded in 1868 by French ex-pat François-Eugène Brun, Domaine des Tourelles on the western edge of the Bekaa valley has changed little since its founding. The low-slung buildings topped with red clay tiles have an ageless feel, and behind the cellar doors, you will discover a working museum of 19th-century winemaking technology. The cement tanks used for fermentation and blending are original to the property and have a patina from nearly a century and a half of continual use. An ancient basket press sits in a corner as a reminder of a time when a vigneron was also a carpenter, welder, and machinist, as well as a farmer and artisan. That the estate survived the 20th century without having been completely remodeled and modernized is an absolute miracle, so when vignerons in France and Spain talk about returning to their roots, Domaine des Tourelles has the advantage of never having departed from them. This would all be academic were it not for the passion and vision of winemaker Faouzi Issa. While the estates in France, where he worked as a student, were actively researching and experimenting with incorporating traditional winemaking practices back into their “technical” wines, Faouzi knew he would return to a place that never forgot them. It also gave him the confidence to take what his family had preserved in Bekaa and bring it to the wider world.
Since antiquity, the Bekaa valley was famous for its grapes and wines. While only 30-50km from the Mediterranean coast, the valley is at an average elevation of 1000 meters and surrounded by mountains – Mount Lebanon in the west and the Anti-Lebanon range in the east. Both ranges are composed of limestone, sandstone, and dolomite, which has weathered to form heavy clays in the center of the valley where cereal grains are grown, and poor, gravelly clays on the edges where vines and olive trees thrive. Despite its southern latitude, its elevation ensures warm, dry days and cool nights during summer. In winter, the oak- and cedar-clad mountains are snow-covered, ensuring plenty of groundwater year-round. A testament to this ideal location for making wine, the largest surviving temple to Bacchus still stands in surprisingly good condition at Baalbek in the heart of the Bekaa.
Lebanon, Bekaa Valley
40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah, 15% Cinsault, and 5% Carignan
Vegan, Indigenous yeasts, Natural
An adult signature is required upon delivery, so please keep that in mind when shipping this gift to friends, family and peers.
There is no minimum.
Bottles are in perfect condition.