It was Christmas Day 2020 and it was just like the rest of the year, following the longest “15 Day Lockdown” known to man. My Bride had lectored at her church as usual, at the 9:00 AM mass, but it was not to the usual hordes of worshippers, as the governor had mandated rules for those that thought that they still wanted to congregate, other than at a Wal-Mart. She came home after the service, as we were going to have a quiet Christmas Day, after seeing everyone the night before. It was the oddest Christmas that I have ever witnessed in my sixty-six years, but then I have had the good fortune to have never spent Christmas in prison, an extended lockdown is bad enough.
We saved our presents to open for Christmas Day, and I had the bulk of the presents to unwrap, only because my Bride as I have mentioned a few times here, went on a weight-reduction regimen and was very successful and she has had to buy a completely new wardrobe, as even working from home, she needed a professional air about her on the many Zoom sessions and other similar type of sessions that she has been doing since she began her constant work schedule from her home office. I on the other hand have had a much more casual daily attire as I had retired, just before all this nonsense began. So, she was having fun surprising me with packages to open up. She likes to pamper me.
The last box that I had to open was not even wrapped and it was a wine that we had tasted at our wine shop The Fine Wine Source. It was a box of EL Ixsir Cuvee X’eme Anniversaire Red Non-Vintage. It was number sixteen of an issue of one-thousand, and the box held three bottles of this special edition wine as well as a beautiful “coffee-table” book The Wines of Ixsir. Ixsir Winery was founded in 2009 in the northern part of Lebanon in Batroun which is a coastal area. They are a mountain winery, and one of the highest in elevation for the Northern Hemisphere. The name Ixsir derives from the Arabic word “Iksir” the original Arabic word for “elixir.” History has recorded that man has searched for the perfect elixir for eternal youth and for love. The winery is very progressive and has been named one of the greenest buildings in the world. The winery owns one-hundred-twenty hectares in the Batroun with several different vineyards capitalizing on the terroir. The winery grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Tempranillo, Caladoc, Cinsault, Merlot, Obeidy, Viognier, Muscat, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Semillon. Quite impressive for a young company, as far as I am concerned. The EL Ixsir Cuvee X’eme Anniversaire Red Non-Vintage is a special bottling of three very recent vintages of their EL, which is their top cuvee and a blend of fifty-five percent Syrah, thirty-five percent Cabernet Sauvignon and ten percent Merlot. Each of the wines had aged for twenty-four months and then had been blended and aged in French Oak, of which half were new barrels. The concept of having the three bottles in the case was that the first bottle should be tasted in five years, and then at least ten years for the second bottle and the last should be held even longer. As a reference point, this wine was issued 30 April 2019 and the Wine Advocate awarded it a score of 93 Points and a suggest “Drink Date” of 2022-2040. When we tasted the wine, we were told that the 2014 vintage which was the real powerhouse of EL was leading this wine and it was big and inky and really overpowering; it was way too young and feisty to be properly enjoyed and there was real merit in cellaring this wine. So, this is a gift that will be giving joy in the years to come.