2019 Chateau Musar Jeune Blanc
Anyone who thinks that the grapes in warm Lebanon are always in the scorching heat will be disappointed. The Bekaa Valley has an ideal climate for viticulture, partly due to its proximity to the sea. But for the white grapes, it has also been decided to plant at a great height, of no less than 1,200 meters. That is a guarantee for a special freshness of these grapes. The white grapes are therefore often harvested in the first half of October. This fruity and juicy Musar Jeune is made from the Mediterranean grapes viognier and vermentino, in combination with chardonnay. It is made like a fruity wine, through a fermentation in stainless steel, where the wine matures on the lees, the dead yeast cells. It is then bottled, after which the wine rests for another year in the bottle before being released on the market. It is a wine with its own character, smooth, fresh and uplifting.
In the glass, the Musar Jeune Blanc has a light straw yellow color. In the nose, the wine has floral notes, pineapple and pear, dried apricots, smoky, a touch of green herbs, basil. On the palate, the wine is medium to full bodied, powerful and flavoursome. Somewhat creamy with a hint of mint, ripe melon on the back of the palate, a hint of sweetness and a tasty bitter aftertaste.
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||White|
|Grape||Chardonnay, Vermentino, Viognier|
|Drinking as of||2021|
|Tasting Profiles||Dry, Fresh, Fruity, Round, White fruit|
|Drink moments||Barbecue, Borrelen, Cadeau!, Met vrienden, Summer party, Terras, Voor alledag|