Château Musar Red 2013, 750ml, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Château Musar was founded in 1930 by Gaston Hochar. In 1959, after studying oenology at the University of Bordeaux, his son Serge became winemaker. The civil war that tore Lebanon apart from 1975 to 1990 did not defeat Château Musar; Serge refused to abandon the wine, and lost only the 1976 and 1984 vintages to the war. Seven years in the making, Château Musar Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault from vineyards near the Bekaa Valley villages of Ammiq, Aana and Kefraya on gravelly soils over limestone. Planted from the 1930s onwards, yields are low from these mature bushvines (average age: 40 years): 35hl per hectare. The varietal components in Chateau Musar Red undergo lengthy fermentations in cement-lined vats at temperatures below 30°C. Racked from their yeast ‘lees’ 6 months after the harvest they are transferred into French barrels (oak from the forest of Nevers, one-third new each vintage) for one year. The varietal components are brought together two years after the harvest; the resulting blend is then placed back in cement-lined tanks before being bottled 12 months later. Each wine is blended to reflect the strengths of the vintage. After 4 years bottle maturation in the deep stone cellars of Château Musar, the finished wines are released a full seven years after the harvest. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. “A dense deep red with our characteristic sweet/savoury/spicy blend of Cinsault, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tastings from the vats in the winter of 2013, revealed elegance and roundness with a spice-dominant palate – liquorice, clove, cinnamon with a warm coulis of red fruits. There are raspberries and blueberries on the palate, this is an elegant vintage, integrated and balanced with fine tannin. No sense of Cabernet Sauvignon here, a more Cinsault dominated vintage with softer red fruits.
” – From the Winery