Chateau Musar was founded in 1930 by Gaston Hochar and is located in an 18th Century castle in Ghazir, just fifteen miles north of Beirut, in Lebanon. The location, in the heart of a region that for many years was ravaged by civil war, placed demands on the Hochar family that most winemakers, fortunately, do not experience. The vineyards, which lie 30 miles east of Ghazir in the Bekaa Valley, were remarkably close to the frontline. Battle raged around the vines throughout the 1983 harvest, and Serge Hochar had to be smuggled in by small boat to make the wine. Similar conditions were endured in 1988 and 1989, and during the latter year both the Hochar family home and the Chateau Musar winery suffered direct hits from shelling. For a short while the wine cellars served a dual purpose, as they made excellent bomb shelters for the local people. The grand vin here is this red Chateau Musar, a blend which includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache and Mourvedre. The wine is fermented in concrete, before spending one year in vat, then a year in French oak, before going back to vat for several years.
A deep red-purple in colour. On the nose vibrant scents of red and black fruit, exotic spices and leather. On the palate, a real streak of acidity. Rich and creamy in texture with plenty of substance. Very well balanced with rounded edges. The finish is lingering and warm. Drink now but will last for another decade. Try with a leg of lamb marinated with garlic and juniper berries, beef Wellington or any roast game dish.