Each variety of “Rouge Désir” 2018 Château Oumsiyat was fermented separately in stainless steel tanks with inoculated yeast at controlled temperatures of 28°C to allow the purity of fruit to shine through. Remontage or pump-overs took place periodically to oxygenate the wine and extract tannins. Moderate maceration followed to extract colour (anthocyanins), flavour and structure. “Rouge Désir” Château Oumsiyat was made in an unoaked style to reveal the aromatics and fruit-forward nature of this distinctive blend. Deftly blended to showcase the Tempranillo which provides the framework, Cabernet Sauvignon which imparts black fruits and mid-palate texture, Syrah brings the structure and delicate spicy notes while Carignan adds a balancing smoothness and aromatics. The wine was lightly filtered prior to bottling.
The vines are planted at an altitude of 1,000 metres above sea level, where the warm days are tempered by cooler nights. The summer diurnal temperature difference is 20°C, which encourages an extended ripening period, concentrating the flavours and aromatic complexity in the berries, while retaining balancing acidity from the cool nights. The soil is calcareous clay which is a cool soil that has good water retention properties to nourish the vines during the hot, dry summers. Due to its pH, calcareous clay soils tend to produce refreshing wines, which encourages further balance to the ripeness of fruit. The vines are cane pruned and are planted at a density of 4,000 vines per hectare. The vineyard is cultivated with respect for the environment and the grapes are hand-harvested at optimal maturity.
Passion and heritage has been passed down through the Bou Sleiman family for four generations. When Joseph Bou Sleiman took over the reins at Château Oumsiyat, he blended respect for local tradition with modern techniques to craft contemporary wines. A passionate vine grower, Joseph also built a modern winery in the village of Mtein, where he creates wines that are a fusion of Old World and New World. The Château Oumsiyat grapes are grown in the 78 hectare vineyard, situated at over 1,000 metres elevation in the beautiful Bekaa Valley, between Mount Lebanon to the west and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains to the east. The altitude, microclimate and soils combine in this ancient terroir to produce fresh wines with a very Mediterranean “feel.”