Northern Bekaa Valley is one of the oldest winemaking regions in the world. However, many of the vineyard sites were until recently planted with cannabis for hashish production rather than grape vines. The folks from Couvent Rouge, who make this delicious ancestral sparkler, are a part of a co-op that is trying to change that by promoting and encouraging local viticulture and winemaking. A blend of Syrah and an ancient indigenous white varietal, Obaideh, this pet nat's bubbles are persistent and burst with generous notes of wild cherry, red currants, peach skin, and a lovely nutty quality. The aromas of crushed almonds take a biscotti cookie-like quality on the palate because of the notes of fresh toast and bread crumbs. The structure is rich and generous but extremely fresh thanks to the lifted spritz of the bubbles.
Only 2,000 bottles were produced and I personally plan on going through a case of them this spring and summer season.
Couvent Rouge was established in 2010, as a complement to the “Coteaux d’Heliopolis” cooperative project. Founded in 1999, the cooperative’s purpose was to replace illicit cannabis plantations with noble vine grapes plantations; offering therefore the possibility for the farmers to settle down in their native village.
Unfiltered wine made with specially selected Syrah 70% and Obaideh 30%
Grapes from Deir El Ahmar vineyards, made under the Ancestral Method. Left on lees for months and disgorged