The harvest of 2011 posed one of the most challenging experiences in wine-
The year began with a cold January but with insufficient rain. February proved similar with March being sunnier but April and May produced the really big surprise with a level of rainfall to match January, February and March combined! The main result of the rain was very late maturation, with flowering occurring 25 days later than usual and this delay continued over the maturation period and up to the harvesting day.
The first Carignan was harvested on the 22nd September and then on the 23rd it rained for three days from the 23rd until the 25th September with the Carignan and the Cinsault not yet harvested.
The Carignan resisted the rain but the Cinsault was more affected. The harvest was finally completed on the13th October, which with the exception of the 1983 vintage, was the latest in the company’s history.
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 2011 vintage is the traditional blend of approximately one third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan.
The bottling took place 3 years later in 2014, after the wines spent a year in French Nevers oak barrels.
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 2018, the Chateau Musar Red 2011 is a dark blood red colour with a rich, fragrant fruit nose; mulberries, black cherries, plums with a hint of mocha. The palate is very intense and concentrated, it’s full of volume and characterised by forest and black fruits with elegant spice.
The tannins are soft and juicy and it has a lengthy finish.
Chateau Musar Red 2011 is a vibrantly powerful vintage and cellared well it will keep for decades.
Decanting and serving
Bottled unfined and unfiltered, Chateau Musar Reds are suitable for vegans (fining agents often contain animal proteins); they’re also richly-
A great match for red meats, especially game, seasonal casseroles and mature cheeses.