Event: Oeno Trade Portfolio, written by Food with Susi
Oeno Trade Portfolio
Château Belle-Vue - Lebanon
“I wanted to go back to my country and follow my dream, all I had in me was the memory. The war destroyed everything we had. Although I followed my career path as an Investment Banker at Merrill Lynch in London, Lebanon was always following me everywhere I went” until one day his wife Jill, who he met at the University in the US, encouraged Naji to follow his dream. A courageous woman who left her country walked his path along and together they built: Château Belle-Vue. This is the story from Naji...(Naji and Jill Boutros, owner of Château Belle-Vue in Bhamdoun, a small town in Béqaa Valley, Lebanon).
Masterclass organized by Oeno Portfolio. I jumped in, took my notes and listened to Naji’s story. Château Belle-Vue is located about one hour from the Mediterranean sea at a 1300m. altitude and just an hour from Beirut. At Béqaa Valley, the economy is based on 99% of agriculture, bananas on the coast, apples and grapes on the mountains and certainly anise seed for their outstanding and beloved spirit drink “Arak”. Summer temperature does not exceed the 28°C (except 2010, where it was higher than 48°C, yield production had to be reduced). The elements of the Lebanese vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, Ugni Blanc, Cinsault around the nucleus of the Béqaa Valley, the marvelous and mysterious Temple of Bacchus, Lebanon evolved through out the years of war with its neighbors, overcoming every episode of tragedy, the world of wine is now discovering the inheritance of the Phoenicians. “La Renaissance”, “Le Château” or “Petit Geste”, some vintages won awards from IWC and they are present in prestigious hotels in Beirut and certainly at “Le Télégraphe” de Belle-Vue, where Naji and Jill can accommodate guests and serve a wonderful meal at their restaurant.
Wines tasted: (1) Petit Geste 2017 (note: wines are biodynamic), a blend of Sauvignon Blanc/Viognier, fruity notes of peaches, nectarines with a hint of coconut, SB aroma of Lebanon distinguishes itself from the New World /Old World Sauvignon Blanc’s, the pungent aroma of that grape is balanced with Viognier, giving this wine a beautiful length with a finishing of floral notes. (2) La Renaissance 2011, tertiary aromas, earthy, herbs, sensed a higher alcohol level, this wine is definitely to be paired with red meat, grilled lamb kebabs. (3) La Renaissance 2006, a tannic wine, with pepper and coffee notes. (4) Le Château 2011, fully tertiary aromas, with many years to age in the bottle, notes of rubber, leather and full cassis and some notes of olives. This was my favorite! This wine is present in the Caviar House at airports and Piccadilly Circus. I recommend this to every high-end restaurant. (5) Le Château 2010, notes of pepper with red currant and chocolate. (Highlights: recommend)
Château Belle-Vue www.chateaubelle-vue.com
Oeno Portfolio www.oenotrade.com
Virgin Wines www.virginwines.co.uk
Invitation by emma wellings pr www.ew-pr.co.uk
My notes at Masterclass www.foodwithsusi.com
Please check my Instagram for hashtags and tags under wine with susi
Video of the winery: https://youtu.be/p78dvL8sRTE
Thank you Jill for the extra material, hope to meet you soon!
Author: Susana Kawai @ Food with Susi
(If society permits, I would be the head of Dabke and lead the circle dance! Greetings to Lebanon, Susana.)