Co-op Wine Top Stories Wine

Co-op Côteaux Les Cèdres Lebanese Wine Review

As a regular Co-op shopper (there’s one around the corner from my house), I must admit I’ve tried pretty much all of their wines over the last couple of years (apart from the really cheap ones). So I did a small mental fist-pump (I’m far too English to do a large physical fist-pump) when I spotted they had a whole new range on the shelf.

The team at Co-op HQ were also kind enough to send me a press catalogue (see pic), and I’m pleased to report that they’ve gone a bit up-market. Sure, the selection’s still heavy on the old faves (yes I’m talking to you, Sauvignon Blanc), but there are some adventurous additions like this classy-looking Lebanese number (yay)! My only gripe is that they seem to have discontinued my old friend the Macon-Villages (boo)! Oh how I will miss you, Co-op Macon-Villages.

This one’s from the Bekaa Valley, a mountainous region in central Lebanon, to the east of Beirut. According to my research, grape cultivation became more popular here when the government cracked down on cannabis production — now there’s a fact you can roll up and pass around your dinner-party table. The area specialises in Cabernet Sauvignon, and this one’s made from a blend of Cab Sauv (55%), Tempranillo (35%) and Syrah (5%).

Phew, that’s three serious, heavy-duty grapes. And as you’d expect from such a concoction, this is a rich, tough, darkly coloured wine with a subtle but firm tannin kick. In fact, it’s about as dark as wine gets. In a parallel universe, you could use it to tar pavements with.

It’s not super-strong on the nose, but it does throw out some interesting notes. I got cherry initially, before it opened up to reveal clearly-defined nutty aromas — specifically almond (or marzipan, if you prefer). And what do you get when you blend cherry with almond? Yes, a Mr Kipling’s cherry bakewell slice of course. Co-op, it seems, do sell some exceedingly good wines.

Similar to: a Cabernet Sauvignon-based Bordeaux blend.

Good for: fans of heavy, dark, rich reds. Red meat. Showing off that you’ve bought something unusual.

Bad for: people who prefer really smooth wines with low tannin.

*Addendum: although it wasn’t obvious to me at the time of writing this review, I’ve since been told this is a Fairtrade wine, meaning a fairer deal for producers in developing countries. All the more reason to try it!

Côteaux les Cèdres du Liban 2014 from Co-op. 13.5% vol, £11.99

4.5 NINJA STARS
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If you found this post interesting, you might also enjoy my feature on Armenian wine in the UK

 

6 comments on “Co-op Côteaux Les Cèdres Lebanese Wine Review

  1. Simon Mawson

    I have just tried this. It’s expensive, but I really liked it. Like those more famous Hochar wines, it has a very distinctive taste (but to be really clear, this wine does not resemble the Hochar wines either). The taste that came to my mind was Retsina (…..in a good way!). Very middle eastern, very sophisticated……I can’t wait for it to be discounted!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cheers Simon. Yeah, it’s proving to be a really popular one, from what I’ve heard. If I notice it’s been discounted I’ll let you know (I’m in Co-op too often for my own good).

      Like

  2. Pat Wingfield

    Really enjoyed this wine. Don’t normally pay so much for wine but it was well worth it. Going back for more!

    Like

    • That’s good to hear. Yeah, it’s not cheap but I think £10-12 is the sweet spot where you get the best combo of quality and value. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Like

  3. Pingback: Best Co-op Wines 2018 – The Wine Ninjas

  4. Pingback: Where To Find Armenian Wine For Sale In The UK – The Wine Ninjas

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