Red, Drink now

2004 Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

2004 Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Red | Drink now | Chateau Musar | Code:  9613 | 2004 | Lebanon > Beqaa Valley | Other Varieties | Full Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

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Bottle 6 x 75cl 1cs

£255.00
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Scores and Reviews

WA

91/100

WA - The 2004 Chateau Musar is an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault. This is a rather civilized, laid back Musar. The complicated aging process is best described by the winery: The wines spent nine months in cement vats and then a year in French Nevers oak barrels and the final blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan rested for another nine months in vats before being bottled? The winery describes this as a once-in-a-decade vintage where a heat wave caused notable increases in sugar content in a short time. I sometimes find that is a dangerous description of vineyard conditions with many risks for a winery, but it seems to have turned out well. If youre comparing, it adds two layers of depth to the 2007 Hochar, although it is quite elegant and graceful in its own right. Most importantly, it has more of an obvious backbone even though it is late-released. Its balance, combining the nice fruit, elegant mid-palate, persistent finish and backbone, gives it a tightly wound, precise and focused demeanor. The tannins are not completely integrated, but not overly hard. They provided some welcome grip and vibrancy and never overwhelmed the wine. In the long run, they should serve this wine in good stead. Overall, it is an exceptionally graceful, somewhat modern and restrained Musar, bright, with that silky texture I saw in the Hochar reviewed this issue, while adding those layers of concentration. The cherry on top is the intensity of fruit flavor bursts of delicious and juicy fruit on the finish, admittedly nuanced by some of the gamey notes I see here so often. Call it raspberry flavored, though, because the fruit is delicious. The gamey notes were in fact moderate and, at least for my taste, not an issue. As this rather subtle Musar aired out, I liked it more and more. Ive had Musars that were bigger, burlier, more rustic and more astringent. Here, the subtle start was unremarkable, but it gathered steam, showed remarkable finesse and then won me over. This will certainly do better with food. Drink now-2021.
Mark Squires - 27/12/2012

The Producer

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.

The Grape

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.

The Region

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.

Storage Details
 
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