Chateau Musar hails from Lebanon’s fertile Beka’a valley – an ancient terroir where wine has been cultivated and celebrated for millennia. Complex and distinctive, the wine it produces features on the world’s finest restaurant lists and has a cult following in every wine-loving nation. The fandom Musar inspires comes not from dominant flavours created through clever oenological trickery, but rather from a 'minimal intervention' philosophy based on allowing nature to take its course. As Musar’s charismatic patriarch, Serge Hochar (1939-2014), once famously explained when asked about his approach to winemaking: “We do nothing. But we do it in the right order.”
Often described as being a stylistic mixture of Bordeaux, Southern Rhône and Burgundy, Chateau Musar’s iconic red wine gets its remarkable character from a distinctive blend of three grapes. It gains its Bordeaux-like structure from Cabernet Sauvignon and its Rhône-like flavour nuances from Carignan and Cinsault. The resulting elegance and finesse, when bottle-aged to perfection, is similar to that of a great Burgundy.
While Musar wines can be variable even in a single vintage (as is to be expected of the tiny percentage of the world’s wines made using natural yeasts with minimal intervention), they famously possess the capacity to excite, enchant and transport those that taste it somewhere special – a quality that has led some of the most respected palates in the wine business to advocate Musar's wines in no uncertain terms.
In the early 2000s, Michael Broadbent described the 1988 vintage as “very Burgundian, perfect with duck. Sweet, soft and... delicious... The most perfectly mature red imaginable: a point. I am busily drinking it at its peak. Five stars.”
"You and I can both make a wine at the same time, from the same grapes, in the same place, using the same recipe and techniques and the same equipment. Yet they will be different. They will have different souls, and will lead different lives. This is because wine has the ability and the capacity to understand the person that is taking care of it."