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 B.C., 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” have remained there ever since.
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Musar 2009 (Lebanon)
Varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan
It has a deep scarlet colour and a nose of blackberries, Assam tea, dark chocolate and mulled berries. On the palate there are rich black and red fruits, especially blackcurrants, cherries, damsons and figs with warm cinnamon spice and a hint of mint. This vintage is also characterised by a smokey earthiness. The tannins are well integrated, there is good acidity and a long, dry finish.