2009 was a truly memorable year in the Bekaa Valley and a vintage of two halves – before and after the rain! This vintage will go down in history as the year of the two day September deluge – unprecedented since records began in 1870. Conditions until mid-
With low PH and high acidity and sugar, the grapes held exceptional promise. After the September rain fall, the remaining red grapes were harvested and were juicier than usual, showing a full bodied structure and a very fragrant nose.
Grapes and vines
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 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.
The varietal components in Chateau Musar Red undergo lengthy fermentations in cement vats at temperatures below 30°C. 6 months after the harvest they are transferred into French barrels (oak from the forest of Nevers) for one year.
The Chateau Musar of 2009 is the traditional blend of approximately one third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan. The blending took place 3 years later in 2012 and the wines spent a year in
French Nevers oak barrels. The Cabernet Sauvignon in particular flourished this year, from flowering to dominating the final structure and taste of the wine.
After 4 years’ bottle maturation in the deep stone cellars of Chateau Musar, the finished wines are released a full seven years after the harvest.
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.
This wine is the ‘Grands Vins’, each with their unique signature and imprint in the world of wine. Since 1930, every aspect of production – grape sourcing, fermentation, oak-
A guide to the style
In youth, Chateau Musar Reds are dense and richly-
Over decades the wines acquire tawny hues and mellow notes. We still offer wines from the 1950s: mesmerising artefacts of vintage.
Flanked by snow-
All the grapes are hand-
Released in the spring of 2016, this vintage has a deep scarlet colour and a nose of blackberries, Assam tea, dark chocolate and mulled berries.
On the palate there are rich black and red fruits, especially blackcurrants, cherries, damsons and figs with warm cinnamon spice and a hint of mint. This vintage is also characterised by a smoky, earthiness. The tannins are well integrated, there is good acidity and a long dry finish.
To keep the wines showing at their best, bottles must be cellared in darkness, lying on their sides and not subjected to unnecessary movement or fluctuations in temperature.
Decanting and serving:
Bottled unfined and unfiltered, Chateau Musar Reds are suitable for vegans (fining agents often contain animal proteins); they’re also richly-