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Chateau Musar Hochar Père et Fils 2013
- Great Domaines
all ratings out of 100 points.
Commentary from Château Musar:
Hochar Père et Fils Red is sometimes mistakenly referred to as the ‘second wine’ of Chateau Musar but this is not an accurate description. It is actually sourced from a single vineyard planted over 50 years ago at 1,000 metres above sea level near the village of Aana in the Bekaa Valley, characterised by deep, gravelly soil over a limestone base. Low yields (25-30 hectolitres per hectare) result in concentrated, complex wines and the altitude keeps the average yearly temperature at around 25 ºC, encompassing snowy winters, mild springs and hot summers.
Cinsault / Grenache / Carignan / Cabernet Sauvignon
9 months in French Oak
Vineyards & vinification:
50 year old single vineyard planted in deep, gravelly soil over a limestone base, 1000m above sea level. High temperature fermentation, macerated in concrete vats for 15-20 days before transfer to French oak. Blended and bottled in spring 2011.
The wines of Château Musar are unique expressions from a country with an ancient wine-making culture, as vines have been cultivated from Lebanon’s high altitude Bekaa Valley for over 6,000 years.
From around 4,500 BC, the sea-faring Phoenicians (ancestors of the modern Lebanese) distributed their wines and vines throughout the Mediterranean, travelling as far as Cadiz (and possibly beyond) in their robust cedar boats. Their resilience in the face of repeated invasion gave rise to the legend of ‘The Phoenix’. They also invented the alphabet to help keep records of their various transactions.
The ancient city of Baalbek in the northern Bekaa Valley, takes its name from the Phoenician fertility god, Baal. The Roman god Bacchus was in turn worshipped here and the temples built in his honour remain among the most perfectly preserved in the world.
The region’s wines are mentioned many times in the bible, with the first recorded evidence of wine transactions coming from Byblos (‘book’ in Greek, hence ‘Bible’) an historic fishing port north of Beirut. French in origin, the Hochar (pronounced Hoshar) family arrived in Lebanon in the 12th century, ‘Preux Chevaliers’ and have remained there ever since.