One of the best wines I tasted last year came from Lebanon — and it was not Chateau Musar, which is the only Lebanese winery most oenophiles know. In my little black book, Chateau Belle Vue’s “Le Chateau” red blend got an uncommon and unusual tasting note: “Now THIS is wine.”
I wrote about the winery in January, along with another Lebanese outfit with Minnesota connections. According to Naji Boutros, in a quote that I couldn’t fit into that column, Charteau Musar poohbah Serge Hosar said that “Le Chateau” was the only Lebanese wine that he (Hosar) felt could hold its own with his estimable red.
And now some folks from across the pond have descended on Belle Vue and discovered not only its great juice but its wonderful back story, if this blog post is any indication.
A long way from the Middle East, but with an even stronger Minnesota connection, this post provides an interesting take on whether the terroir in Tundraland can ever produce truly noteworthy wines. The short answer is that the human factor will be crucial.
It’s hard to ponder during this absurd, will-it-ever-end? winter that this could ever be great wine country. But that post’s author, U of M enologist Katie Cook, is among many very smart people trying to make this happen, so I’ll join her in being a cockeyed optimist on the topic.
Wouldn’t hurt, though, if our climate started to even remotely resemble Lebanon’s.