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.
A year for the history books, where the mountains of Lebanon failed to turn white with snow. Very low rainfall during October and November 2013, where precipitation did not exceed 18mm. This trend continued into the New Year – no rain, snow or cold weather and only two stormy days affecting no more than 20% of the country! February and March were the driest and it seems as if this winter was an extension of summer 2013. April, May, June and July, where buds open and flowering occurs was perfect for the vines, but with one very important element missing for summer survival – water. By early August, the vines were starting to suffer badly. Sugar content in Cabernet Sauvignon rose drastically while acidity was stable. The varietal lost 40% of its weight due to lack of moisture and the hard work started on the first day of the red grape harvest – four teams harvesting simultaneously for the first time in Chateau Musar history. Carignan was also affected but not to the same degree, while the survivor of them all was, as usual, the Cinsault.
A deep red colour, with aromas of sweet cherry, plum and dried fruit together with a subtle spice element and hint of tobacco. The wine has a soft, rounded mouthfeel with lots of flavour and fruit concentration – caramel, mocha, ripe red fruits which are supported with soft, velvety tannins and a spicy finish.