Hochar 2019 Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley
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An attractive clear ruby colour and aroma to match, with a subtle peppery spice and ripe red fruits. This continues through to the palate where sweet-ripened red fruit dominate the glass with a slight savoury note and soft, elegant finish.
In 1930, 20-year-old Gaston Hochar founded Chateau Musar after his travels in Bordeaux and the rich heritage of winemaking in Lebanon. In 1959 Gaston’s son Serge, took on the running of the business, demanding that his father step aside to let him put his new ideas and methods to the test. That decision was pivotal and over the following years Serge achieved his stated aim of making a wine that would be known all over the world. Today, the Hochar family are still proudly at the helm of their iconic business with Serge’s two sons, Gaston and Marc being responsible for the day-to-day and commercial aspects of the winery. The winemaking methodology is, as Serge Hochar always intended, non-interventionist and natural, with ambient yeasts in the fermentation, a bare minimum of sulphur employed, and no fining or filtration of the finished Chateau Musar wine. It is absolutely the intention that every vintage be different, ‘to make wine on the edge’ as Serge put it. This approach leads to wines that to some are infuriatingly inconsistent and to many others beguilingly so. Let’s give the last word on this to Serge, who was decanter Man of the Year in 1984: ‘I once produced a wine that was technically perfect, but it lacked the charms of imperfection.
The grapes fermented at temperatures ranging between 27-29°C with 15-20 days maceration in cement vats, followed by 6 months in French Nevers oak barrels. The 2018 vintage was blended in the spring of 2020 and bottled in the summer of the same year.