Chateau Musar Rouge 2001
The wines of Chateau Musar are unique expressions from a country with an ancient winemaking culture, as vines have been cultivated from Lebanon's high altitude Bekaa Valley for over 6,000 years. 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 naturally.
Chateau Musar was founded in 1930 by Gaston Hochar. In 1959, after studying oenology at the University of Bordeaux, his son Serge became winemaker. The civil war that tore Lebanon apart from 1975 to 1990 did not defeat Chateau Musar; Serge refused to abandon the wine, and lost only the 1976 and 1984 vintages to the war. Owing to his inspiring determination and grand passion for his wines, Serge received the inaugural “Man of the Year Award” from Decanter magazine in 1984. Recognition from Michael Broadbent, at the 1979 Bristol Wine Fair, threw Musar into the international spotlight and helped create a cult-like following. Chateau Musar is one of the most written-about and discussed wines in the world today.
W&S 93: As elegant as Serge Hochar himself, the man behind Château Musar, this blend of cabernet sauvignon, carignan and cinsault is lithe yet firm. The fruit feels autumnal, in shades of rust red and ocher spice, and is saturated with a spicy, foresty fragrance. It's delicious now, ready for game birds scented with juniper berries, and should live on for another decade. (6/2010)