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 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.”
2018 was characterised as an early vintage. Low rainfall during winter was followed by hot, dry conditions in the summer. The dry, warm weather helped keep the vineyard disease free and produced grapes with good concentration of fruit. The vintage took place earlier than in average years, with fruit in excellent health and good polyphenolic maturity.
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 cooler 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.
The Chardonnay grapes were sorted prior to vinification to ensure the fruit was healthy and ripe. The grapes were then pressed and the must was racked to stainless steel fermentation tanks, where the must was fermented at 14 to 16°C with selected yeasts. The wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation to maintain the crisp, fresh style. The wine rested on its fine lees for three months adding texture and subtle complexity before being gently filtered and bottled.
Intense aromas of luscious tropical fruit notes of ripe peach and pineapple are refreshingly balanced on the palate through to a clean and zesty finish.