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Chateau Musar Red 1985 MAGNUM
- Great Domaines
all ratings out of 100 points.
First tasted with Serge Hochar in the Chateau Musar cellars, December 1999. The wine was still in individual vats: Cinsault from the garrigues of Kefraya in the Bekaa Valley: crisp, fragrant; attractive, some elegance. Carignan from Anna , a little further north: more flesh, nice fruit, very tannic. Cabernet Sauvignon was an incredibly deep colour: green, stalky nose; austere, astringent. It would be another year before blending. Most recently, seemed fully developed, good flavour, lovely aftertaste. - Michael Broadbent | Tasted 2002
Commentary on the 1997 vintage from Château Musar:
A fairly normal winter followed by a fresh spring with no hail or frost and then a mild summer with a very cloudy and fresh August followed by a sunny September. These perfect conditions allowed grapes to mature slowly and surely at a pace rarely achieved.
The harvest started on the 15th September and ended on the 11th October for the reds and the 21st October for the whites. However we had to stop harvesting for four days from the 30th September to the 3rd October because of rain. Fermentation continued at about the same pace at which the grapes had matured.
It was the slowest and best fermentation we have ever had at Château Musar, especially between the 15th and 30th September with 80% of the harvest in the cellar. I tasted the wines on the 18th November. Almost all malolactics are finished and wines look ready for drinking.
Very, very beautiful wines and the white wines are just as beautiful as the reds. All wines are big and perfectly balanced whatever the cepage – Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Cinsault, Merwah and Obaideh.
Definitely a vintage to follow very closely...
Serge Hochar, late winemaker of Château Musar
Cinsault / Carignan / Cabernet Sauvignon / Merwah / Obaideh.
2013 - 2030
French Oak for 12 Months
Vineyards & vinification:
Mature and low-yielding bush vines with an average age of 40 years, growing in gravelly soils over limestone. Fermentation in concrete vats before racking into French oak.
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.