This fledgling winery is set to become a major player on the Lebanese quality wine scene. Although now crafted in a temporary structure resembling an aircraft hangar, the wines are set to have one of the most environmentally impressive and quality conscious wineries as their birthplace within the next couple of years. This is not to suggest that the current output is in any way lacking.

Marsyas, along with another in Syria (Bargylus), is owned by the Saadés, a prominent Levantine trading family with roots in Southern Syria and Lebanon. Both wineries are run by Karim and Sandro Saadé, two brothers from the youngest generation, who were inspired to plant in their homelands after a trip to Bordeaux in the nineties. There they engaged the services of Stéphane Derenoncourt, the highly regarded French vigneron and consultant (whose client list includes many prominent Bordeaux châteaux) and, after sourcing the land, vines were planted at Bargylus in 2003 and Marsyas in 2004, with the first vintages coming in three years later. A red and a white are made at each so far.

Sadly, due to transportation difficulties caused by the Syrian political unrest, there were no bottles of Bargylus available in Lebanon to taste.

Château Marsyas's wines

  • ***½

    Château Marsyas White

    Grapes: Chardonnay, Sauvignon

    Pale gold. Lifted honeysuckle notes, peach, apple. Crisp though weighty palate with lovely citric and soft white fruit characters, and oak playing a secondary role. Nicely integrated.

  • ****

    Château Marsyas Red

    Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot

    Deep red. Sweet Cabernet dominated nose with bell pepper and currant, notes of spicy plum and hints of angelica. Soft and giving on the palate, fine tannins. A powerful wine with plenty of potential.

  • The current winery – soon to be replaced.

    The current winery – soon to be replaced.

  • The Saadés with guests.

    The Saadés with guests.