2014 Bargylus Grand Vin de Syrie Blanc
The Bargylus estate is located near Deir Touma, literally translated as the “Monastery of Thomas”, not far from the archaeological remains of the Crusade and the illustrious Saladin. Typically Mediterranean in style, Bargylus elegantly combines strength and sophistication. The balance between sweetness, which comes with sunshine and the full ripeness of the grapes, and salt content that comes with limestone, allows Bargylus to convey a strong soil identity and inimitable flavor.
Everyone now knows that the cradle of Syrian wine is in Lebanon. But the wine region was much larger then, and at the same time that wine was produced in present-day Lebanon, wine was also made a few hundred kilometers away, more precisely around the Jebel-Al-Ansariye, near the important Phoenician city, Ramitha. Mount Bargylus dominates this part of the Syrian landscape, the land that gave us the alphabet and money. Deir Thouma has always had a historic and special wine estate, recently brought back to life by the Saadé family. The Mediterranean climate has been particularly favorable for wine-growing since time immemorial.
Bargylus winery is under the strict control of top oeunologist Stephane Derenoncourt. Here he works uncompromisingly on a flawless course, and makes wines with great precision and depth. Using the best international varieties for both red (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot) and white (Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc), they want to show the excellence of the soil and organic farming and now Bargylus is without a doubt the flagship of Syria.
Quoted today by Pliny the Elder, Mount Bargylus, known today as Jebel Al-Ansariyé, stretches from the Orontes Valley near the ancient city of Antioch to the Eleutherus Valley in the south of ancient Emesa. Located in the hinterland of the modern Syrian city of Latakia and the Canaanite metropolis of Ugarit, the slopes of Mount Bargylus were richly covered with vines during Greco-Roman times.
Wine making in Syria is a real challenge given the lack of wine culture and infrastructure. The task became more difficult with the outbreak of war in Syria. The Saadé brothers have not been able to visit the estate since the beginning of the conflict. In addition to the obvious safety problems, Bargylus also has a logistical problem: harvesting is done by telephone by the two brothers. Grape samples are sent by taxi for tasting in Beirut to determine harvest dates for each plot. Laboratory testing is conducted outside the country and exporting the wines is also an extremely complex process.
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