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. This unusual white is a blend of 2/3 Obaideh and 1/2 Merwah from 50 year old vines. It is partially fermented in oak then aged for 9 months in French oak barrels. This is a complex white and may benefit from decanting.
A glorious golden-yellow in colour. On the nose, toasted almonds, citrus fruit and green herbs. On the palate, rich and round with an excellent acidity. Further citrus flavours with a touch of caramel. The tannins are assertive but not overwhelming. Complex finish with slightly oxidised notes. Difficult to pair with food. Try with foie gras, stuffed vine leaves or Turkish style stuffed aubergine with onions, tomatoes and garlic.