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.
2012 was an interesting year of contrasts as January and February were extremely cold and snowy, April proved fresh and rainy giving a boost for the opening of the buds. In early May, all the vineyards were astonishingly green with many small buds. June was very hot indeed but the vines withstood this and flowering occurred with such success that we were expecting a big harvest this year. A very hot July followed with 10 days of heat wave with temperatures of 39 and 40 degrees – this caused the vines to tire and green leaves turned pale, even yellow in some places, almost as if October was early and causing the harvest to be much smaller than we had initially hoped.
Chateau Musar Red 2012 has a dark burgundy colour, a nose of matured stone fruits, plums and figs with liquorice and spicy notes. It has big developed ripe fruit on the nose and a bold taste profile of juicy, black fruits plus mocha and leather and a beautiful lingering finish.