This past Friday our beloved faculty and staff hosted the annual Master of Public Affairs Christmas Cocktail, at our main building on 224 Boulevard Saint Germain in Paris. The party was potluck style and a couple of my fellow classmates prepared traditional dishes from their home countries, including Indonesia and Japan. Although I love to cook I opted for the easy way out and contributed with a bottle of Lebanese wine from the Tanaïl Estates, recommended directly from the head wine merchant at La Grande Épicerie du Bon Marché.
History of the Winery
Source – http://www.massaya.com/
Sami and Ramzi Ghosn, the second generation owners, learned to love nature and its greatest produce, wine, during their childhood. Sadly in 1975, the civil war raged on in Lebanon, forcing the Ghosn brothers to leave their Tanaïl Estate. Nevertheless they always knew the day would come for them to return.
Massaya (which means “Twilight”) is the brainchild of these two dynamic Lebanese brothers. Since Biblical times, Lebanon has been acclaimed for its prized Bekaa Valley wines. Today, this bijou winery, with its clay-limestone vineyards, nestled between the mountains and the Mediterranean at more than a thousand meters, produces a range of unique wines that captures the spirit of the Levant. The Ghosn brothers have harnessed the potential of this fabulous terroir in collaboration with two French wine-making dynasties, the Brunier and Hebrard families. Frédéric & Daniel Brunier own Domaine Vieux Télégraphe in the Southern Rhone’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape AOC. Dominique Hebrard is the owner of Château Bellefont Belcier in Bordeaux’s Saint-Emilion AOC. Dominique and his family were the former owners of the famed Château Cheval Blanc, before selling it off to LVMH corporate group.
2006 Massaya Classic, Tanaïl Estates
Appellation: Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
Blend: 60% Cinsault, 20% Canbernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah
Le Service: A freshly opened bottle served in a disposable white plastic cup, not exactly a Riedel Sommelier glass.
Tasting Notes: Aromas of green vegetables, grass and earth. Quite tannic with fresh acidic flavors of blackberries, black cherries and plums, followed by subtleties of prunes and dark chocolate. Although not a big hit among the party goers, I found this wine to be rather interesting, although not at all compelling, and decently complex.
Anecdotes: Miki San busted out her Arabic hot red peppers in the midst of the festivities. They were quite the hit! Oh yeah and to cap off a perfect holiday party, I managed to break my brand new Olympus digital camera by dropping it at waist height onto carpet. How cheap is that!?