Founded in 1930 by Gaston Hochar, the wines of Chateau Musar are unique expressions from a country with an ancient wine-making culture, as vines have been cultivated from Lebanon’s high altitude Bekaa Valley for over 6,000 years. Chateau Musar’s red vineyards are situated towards the southern end of the Bekaa valley, noth of Lake Qaroun and about 30km south-east of Beirut. They lie near the villages of Aana and Kefraya on a range of gravelley soils over limestone: ideally suited to viticulture. Every wine is produced naturally with a “non-interventionist” wine making philosophy and the winery was the first in Lebanon to implement organically certified viticulture in 2006 for its Chateau Musar red and white grapes.
2010 was a year to remember in Lebanese wine-making history. Even from January it was obvious that this year would be lacking in water as snow fell only once on the 17th January (it was the shortest ski season ever!) and rainfall stopped on the 23rd February. March was so hot that the vines began to blossom in early April and in May and June the vines were so vigorous and green following successful flowering, that we thought we would have the biggest harvest ever. However in mid-July things began to change and the temperature rose dramatically. A heat-wave hit Lebanon which lasted for about 23 days with an average daily temperature of 40°C and the highest ever temperature in the Bekaa Valley was recorded at 48.5°C. The grapes didn’t mature, they dried, as water disappeared from the grapes causing high sugar concentration. Cinsault and Carignan were less affected by this heat-wave than the Cabernet Sauvignon which suffered the most – dried grapes with high sugar content, high acidity and unfortunately we lost approximately 45% of our Cabernet this year.
It is deep, rich garnet in colour with aromas of raisins, cedar, prunes and cinnamon. The 2010 is a savoury, herby wine with delicate spices and the raisiny, figgy aromas follow through to the palate. This is an elegant vintage with fresh acidity and a long, dry finish.