2014 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley Rouge Magnum
Chateau Musar is one of the most special wine estates in the world. On the one hand this is the location, the Lebanese Bekaa Valley, on the other hand they still use a completely traditional working method. The vineyards lie on siliceous limestone soils at an altitude of about 1000 metres. The long, warm summers guarantee excellent ripening of the grapes. Owner Serge Hochar, who was named Winemaker of the Year by the English magazine Decanter Magazine in the past, also received his wine training in France.
2014 is a year for the history books, in which the mountains of Lebanon did not turn white with snow. Very little rainfall in October and November 2013, with precipitation not exceeding 18 mm. This trend continued into the new year - no rain, snow or cold weather and only two stormy days
February and March were the driest and it looks like this winter was an extension of the summer of 2013. April, May, June and July, when the buds open and bloom, was perfect for the vines, but it was missing a very important element for summer survival - water. At the beginning of August, the vines began to suffer badly. Sugar content in Cabernet Sauvignon rose dramatically while acidity was stable. The variety lost 40% of its weight due to lack of moisture and hard work, but as is known from these types of old vineyards, the hard work and low yield does provide beautiful fruit. Very small fruit with a lot of flavor and a very low yield. Each variety was fermented with natural yeasts in concrete vats and aged for 12 months in French oak before blending and bottling in January 2017 without fining or filtration. The bottles will be aged in the cellars of Chateau Musar before release in Spring 2021.
The 2014 Musar has a deep red color, with aromas of sweet cherries, plums and dried fruit along with a subtle spice element and a hint of tobacco. The wine has a soft, round mouthfeel with great flavor and fruit concentration - caramel, mocha, ripe red fruits supported by soft, velvety tannins and a spicy finish. Delicious to drink, but as with all Musars, this wine can also age great, especially in this great magnum bottle of 1.5 liters.
Viticulture is not new in Lebanon, in the Beeka Valley. A bronze press wine press was found there (the Phoenicians were active here). The famous Bacchus temple in Baalbek testifies that the Romans already made wine there. The Beeka Valley is ideal for grape cultivation. The valley is about eight kilometers wide and lies between two mountain ranges at about a thousand meters height. The climate is extremely warm. Fortunately, the height ensures a strong night-time cooling. As a result, the fruity aromas are preserved in the grapes. Thanks to snow from the mountains, sufficient water flows in the Valley. The substrate consists of a mixture of loam, boulders and gray limestone. The microclimate is so ideal that the vines usually remain in perfect health. The ongoing war violence in this region is a negative factor. But despite that, people have always continued to make wine. Only in the years 1976 and 1984 no wine was made because of the war. The grapes had to be transported across the line of fire about 100 km to the winery just north of Beirut. After more than a thousand years of alcoholic draining as a result of Islam, the Jesuits started growing wine again in 1857. Gaston Hochar founded the wine company Chateau Musar in 1930. Lebanon was then still under French mandate. He bought his grapes from the Beeka Valley and made a winery and cellar on the western side of the mountain in Lebanon in Ghazir, just north of Beirut. French professors advised him on setting up his wine company.
He sent his son Serge on an internship to Bordeaux (Château Langoa-Barton). It is this Serge Hochar who has made the wines of Château Musar known worldwide. Serge Hochar consciously opts for a blend, in which the firm, sturdy and firm structure of the Cabernet Sauvignon is accompanied by the fruit “of the Rhône” (Carignan and Cinsault). Such a blend hardly occurs elsewhere. He himself says that his wines are made in a very natural way, with natural yeasts, without clarification and without filtering. "They are wines without make-up." The red castle wines are aged for an average of 12 months in French barrels, which are not toasted. This is followed by years of cellar rest. At the end of the second year after harvest, the blend is determined with the sole decision factor being the taste. Each vintage is different and has its own characteristics. The red Château Musar is an extraordinary traditional wine, if not old-fashioned in style. Its color is never really dark and usually brownish, with spices and a mild spiciness in both the aroma and taste. The wine can age very well. Serge Hochar finds them at their best after fifteen years. They are wines with their own style.
|Type of Wine||Red|
|Drinking as of||2021|
|Tasting Profiles||Earthy, Complex, Dark fruit, Dry, Aged on wood, Powerful, Tannines, Full|
|Drink moments||Indruk maken, Lekker luxe, Open haard|