REGION: Bekaa, Lebanon
VARIETIES: Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah
This may be considered an inhospitable place to visit currently (and very sadly), but it remains an ideal location to produce wines: dry, warm and moderated by the Mediterranean. Indeed, wine-making in the Levant goes back centuries. But this is a modern outfit, with some serious French heft behind it: the Brunier family of Vieux Telegraphe in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and Dominique Hebrand formerly of Cheval Blanc. This is their entry-level version, and very fine it is too: plenty of fruit and body, but with a serious backbone behind it as well.