2018 Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

2018 Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Product: 20188011941
 
2018 Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

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Description

I always find that Musar feels deceptively European whenever I try it. The mix of dark dried fruit, wood spice and a touch of herbaceousness would usually place me in Southern France rather than the balmy valleys of Lebanon but then again Musar has always been a wine that drives its own success. A pleasant mix of sweet, dried blueberries, blackberries and fresh ripe damsons leaps out of the glass, with bursts of sage, cedar and tobacco spice.

You’d be forgiven for thinking this 2018 is older than it is as the spice dominates on the palate and a savoury mushroom-like edge peeks through, however the finish is still fresh. One to enjoy now whilst it is in this delightful stage, an easy drinker that will not disappoint fans of this characterful wine.

Drink 2025 - 2040

Henrietta Gullifer, Account Manager, Berry Bros. & Rudd

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About this WINE

Chateau Musar

Chateau Musar

Château Musar was established by Gaston Hochar in 1930 and is without doubt Lebanon's top wine estate. Few properties have consistently produced such high quality wines in the face of adversity and war, and it is a testament to the sheer will and determination of the Hochars that wine has been produced every single year, bar 1976 and 1984.

The property is located in Ghazir, 15 miles north of Beirut overlooking the Mediterranean, whereas the vineyards themselves are located a long and sometimes dangerous truck journey over the mountains to the east of Beirut in the Beqaa (aka Bekaa) Valley. The vineyards benefit from an altitude of around 1000 metres and the subsequent cool nights serve to lengthen the crucial ripening process.

The red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault. Serge Hochar, who has been involved with the property since 1959, states that the Cabernet Sauvignon provides "the bones and the skeleton to the wine, the Carignan the flesh and muscle and the Cinsault the silky smooth finesse".

Musar wines are unique in that Hochar blends the varietals only after they have spent three years in barrels and then waits a further four years before releasing the end result. This gives time for each variety to unfold its own character. The wines are extremely long-lived, with the best examples lasting for 20-30 years.

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Beqaa Valley

Beqaa Valley

Beqaa (Bekaa) Valley is the wine powerhouse of Lebanon, where all the major wineries have their vineyards, including Chateau Ksara (Lebanon’s largest winery with over 60% of the country's production), Château Kefraya, Cave Kouroum, Château Musar and thetrendy boutique winery of Château Massaya.

Vines in Beqaa Valley are grown at a high altitude of around 1,000m, and hence they can benefit from a unique micro-climate of dry summers, cool nights, and abundant rainfall. Harvest is typically in the middle of September (much later than other southern Mediterranean vineyards).

French influences on the wines of Beqaa (and Lebanon in general) are evident in the make-up of the vineyard; included are Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Carignan.

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Other Varieties

Other Varieties

There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.

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