Chateau Musar was established by Gaston Hochar in 1930 and is without doubt Lebanon’s top wine estate. Few properties have consistently produced such high quality wines in the face of adversity and war, and it is a testament to the sheer will and determination of the Hochars that wine has been produced every single year, bar 1976 and 1984.
Chateau Musar is located in Ghazir, 15 miles north of Beirut overlooking the Mediterranean, whereas the vineyards themselves are located a long and sometimes dangerous truck journey over the mountains to the east of Beirut in the Beqaa (aka Bekaa) Valley. The vineyards benefit from an altitude of around 1000 metres and the subsequent cool nights serve to lengthen the crucial ripening process.
The red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault. Serge Hochar, who was been involved with the property from 1959, states that the Cabernet Sauvignon provides “the bones and the skeleton to the wine, the Carignan the flesh and muscle and the Cinsault the silky smooth finesse”.
Musar wines are unique in that Hochar blends the varietals only after they have spent three years in barrels and then waits a further four years before releasing the end result. This gives time for each variety to unfold its own character. The wines are extremely long-lived, with the best examples lasting for 20-30 years.
The Musar 2000 vintage is considered to have a more Bordeaux like character than previous vintages . The colour is a deep dark red, perhaps darker than usual at Chateau Musar. The nose is a complex intriguing mixture of figs, prunes, leather, dark tea, tobacco, black olives with spices and a certain earthiness. On the palate, you will find ripe black cherries, figs, damsons-even chocolate and olives.
There is good acidity with nice smooth tannins resulting in a wine which full-bodied, richand velvety with very long length. In summary we feel that the 2000 vintage is a serious wine with serious ageing potential but with a very approachable and open style which makes it perfect for drinking now as well as cellaring.