Bargylus Grand Vin de Syrie 2013 $(tbc)

The World’s Most Dangerous Wine…

Syrian wine is finally available in New Zealand, but our little country only gets 168 bottles and it has a heck of a job getting here. The Domaine de Bargylus winery is unluckily situated in Syria’s civil war zone. Bargylus (located in Latakia, in Syria’s northwest) is owned by the Saadé family from Lebanon, who reckon its wines must be the world’s most difficult to produce. For starters, they need to stock a two-year supply of corks and bottles in case there’s an embargo and the actual winemaking process has to be conducted online. An on-site winemaker posts images of grapes and vines for brothers Sandro and Karim Saadé to assess. Samples of grapes and the finished wines then have to make the perilous journey to Beirut by taxi via Syria’s notorious northern border. Finally, to actually get the wine to market, it takes a circuitous route from Syria to Egypt to Beirut then onto Belgium for international distribution. Not easy when the Saadé family’s offices were destroyed in last August’s devastating Beirut port explosion.

The Domaine de Bargylus Red 2013 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, syrah and merlot that’s inky-dark and scented with tamarillo, dark cocoa, omega plum, graphite, smoke and soy. All those characters tsunami across the palate leaving a wake of dark berries, chocolate and pepper and a long tail of powdery, gum-gripping tannins. I love the texture and length of flavour. It’s delicious.

Available at Euro and Jervois Rd Steakhouse or to buy email