Wines | Massaya

BEQAA RAINS AND MASSAYA MINERALS MAKE A TONIC WATER FOR THE VINES

Our vines in the Beqaa needed plenty of rain at the start of this year ¬¬– and we got even more than we were hoping for. February was very wet with storms at the end of the month that must have restored groundwater levels after five years of drier winters.
Luckily, we had finished most of the pruning before the storms as well as making adjustments to the nutrients in some vineyard soils where, back in July last year, we had detected that levels were getting too low for good growth.
Taking account of the color of the leaves and the size of the shoots we marked the trunk of each vine with a coloured tape according to three criteria: lack of iron, lack of nutrients and cracks in the soil.
Then in February this year, we went back to the vines and added the supplement that each plant required. In certain cases we buried iron, in others we spread natural manure, and in others we just added a layer of compost produced by Massaya from our organic and vegetal waste. Then we hoped for rain to dilute the nutrients and carry them to the roots. Well, our wishes were fulfilled and we must wait for the harvest in August and September to fully assess the success of these adjustments.
Meanwhile, February has also been busy with the visit of our two partners from France. Frederic Brunier came to assist us in pruning and then we welcomed Daniel Brunier mainly to blend the red wines produced in 2018 and to prepare for harvest 2019. At this stage, we can say with confidence that the 2018 wines will be among the best vintages we have produced.
Across the labels, we had the juices for a blending that respected the personality of each wine. Cap Est with its minerality and finesse, Terrasses de Baalbeck with its rusticity and the yummy Colombier. The blending process is not all that difficult because each label reflects a terroir (Ras Baalbeck for Cap Est and Haddath Baalbeck for Terrasses de Baalbeck) and the blend proportions are by now familiar. But improving the finesse of the wines requires fine tuning that comes with small adjustments here and there. This takes place each year at the laboratory of Tanaïl Property where the silence of deep concentration is only broken by the familiar sounds of wine tasting and of fountain pens scratching the sheets of notes. After four hours’ careful work we were ready to brief the team at Tanail with instructions for harvest 2019.
Then we left the Beqaa storms and spent a comfortable weekend at Faqra where we tasted lots of wines discussed winemaking, kitchen improvements, the upcoming resident program, distribution and in general reviewed the positive changes that Massaya has seen during the last two decades.
We asked Daniel Brunier (a partner in Massaya since 1998 and owner of le Vieux telegraphe at Chateauneuf du Pape) to give his assessment of the 2018 wines:
“In general the 2018 Massaya reds have a freshness and a very specific elegance; lots of fresh fruit, a nice power without heaviness, the tannins are present and well balanced giving a beautiful dimension to the entire range. A particular note for Terrasses de Baalbeck and Cap Est where we can feel a nice salinity which adds a new layer of elegance and depth to the vintage.”
Regarding Massaya Faqra, Daniel said:
“At each visit we feel the soul of the place has become more and more polished with new details and precision in the kitchen with decorations that reflect a relaxed, atmosphere worthy of the warm layout. The combination of snow, restaurants and winery makes it a unique experience.”

 

 
This is the release program for Massaya reds
Colombier 2018 will be on sale from June 2019
Terrasses de Baalbeck 2018 will be bottled in 2020
Cap Est 2017 will reach the market during 2019 while vintage 2018 is due to be released in 2020

We are proud that all the fruity wines are hitting the market as soon as bottled and the average aging of Cap Est and Terrasses de Baalbeck is two years. Furthermore, we have finalized our plans for expanding the winery in the Beqaa not simply to increase the volumes but as a way of increasing the aging capacity of the winery now that our aged wines have increased in volume.


 
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