Seven years in the making, Chateau Musar Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault from vineyards near the Bekaa Valley villages of Ammiq, Aana and Kefraya on gravelly soils over limestone. Planted from the 1930s onwards, yields are low from these mature bushvines (average age: 40 years): 35hl per hectare.
In youth, Chateau Musar Reds are dense and richly-textured, with intense ‘baked fruit’ characteristics. Bordeaux grape Cabernet Sauvignon lends black fruit flavours. Either set of qualities might dominate a particular vintage, but the style is always emphatically Lebanese: enticingly aromatic, with persistent fruit flavours. Over decades the wines acquire tawny hues and mellow notes.
The Hochar family’s philosophy of respect for the environment means that the 180 hectares of Musar vineyards are managed with minimal human interference and all the wines are made as naturally.
Chateau Musar was the first producer in Lebanon to achieve organic certification for its vineyards. Most are located in the Bekaa Valley, cradled between two mountain ranges running parallel to Lebanon’s Mediterranean coastline. Vines have been cultivated here for at least 6,000 years: the Phoenicians (seafaring ancestors of the modern Lebanese) were instrumental in bringing vines and wines from Byblos across to all of the areas around the Mediterranean.
Flanked by snow-covered mountains, and nestled at 1000m (3,000 feet) above sea level, the serenely beautiful Bekaa Valley is blessed with 300 days of sunshine a year, fresh mountain breezes and an average temperature of 25°C (encompassing snowy winters and hot summers). Remote and unspoilt, the Musar vineyards were ‘organic’ by default before the term was coined.
All the grapes are hand-harvested by local Bedouins between August and October.
In the winery, ambient yeasts do the work of fermentation. The bare minimum of sulphur is used and the Chateau Musar wines are neither fined nor filtered.
The Chateau Musar tasting with Mr Ralph Hochar held at our cellars in November 2009 was a great success and something we are repeating on Wednesday October 5th 2011
After four successive years of drought, the vineyard had a long, rainy and cold winter which lasted until June. This was followed by a mild July and a hot August. The grapes took longer to reach maturity than average and the harvest started almost two weeks later than in previous years.
The grapes of this year were characterised by high levels of sugar, acidity and tannins, and the resulting wines are much bigger, riper and fuller than expected. An exceptional year: normally in Lebanon, high sugar content means less acidity but in 2002 everything was there!
Deep crimson – even blood red - in colour, the 2002 has an intense and complex nose of spicy red fruits and cedar with deeper plum notes. Generous red and black fruit characters follow through to the palate, combining with notes of Christmas cake spices, figs, dates and stewed plums. This richly-fruited wine shows good acidity, silky tannins and a long, promising finish.
“The latest release from this famous Chateau shows dark winter fruits, raisin, prune and vanilla spice aromas on the nose. The palate has immense power dominated by dark plum, damson, liquorice and a toasty, spicy finish. The wine was racked 6 months after the harvest and put in French Nevers oak barrels for one year. It was blended in the following summer, then left to rest for one year before bottling in July & August 2005. The 2002 is one of the best vintages in recent years, which is thoroughly enjoyable now and will continue to develop for a further 10 years.” – Simon Hoggart, ‘The Spectator’, April 2009.
Our nationwide door to door deliveries are processed by leading specialists in the transportation of quality wines and spirits. We aim to keep things as simple as possible and have opted for a flat consignment charge of £5 +VAT to mainland UK destinations. We are able to facilitate morning deliveries(before 10am & Midday) and Saturday deliveries for an extra charge, please contact us and we will see what can be done.
NB Deliveries to the Highlands & Islands of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and Isles of Scilly will incur delivery surcharges.
|Weight||Cost (Ex VAT)|
|0.01KG - 250.00KG||£5|
|Larger Weight||Please Call +44 1384 394518|
As a rough guide most standard (75CL) single bottles weigh 2KG and a case (12 x 75CL bottles) weighs 24KG.
In Bond storage is facilitated at Octavian in Wiltshire, the U.K's premier wine storage facility. The conditions at this old munitions base, 100 metres below ground are unrivalled, offering temperature control, In Bond facility and full replacement value insurance. The wines are stored under each client's individual "Protection Plus" account number, fully labelled and can only be released or moved with his or her written instructions. No right of lien can be exercised over wines held on each client's behalf. Client's stock can be inspected, by arrangement, at any time excluding November & December.
|Cases||Cost c/s per year|
Items can be ordered In Bond for transfer to clients own bonded storage accounts. We are able to action this process for a single consignment charge of £10 ex VAT, this covers any quantity.