Chateau Musar Red Wine

Château Musar 2003

Bekaa, Lebanon

Per bottle

£26.95 £21.75

Per case of 6

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Per case of 12

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EXCLUSIVE WEBSITE OFFER. A cult offering, based on the Bordeaux grape varieties, with a very ripe fruit character. The Hochar family, proud producers of this wine, has battled against the odds for many years, and manages to make something unique. The wine definitely shows its hot-climate origins, with an almost baked fruit character.

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Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot

Château Musar was the first producer in Lebanon to achieve organic certification for its vineyards. Most are located in the Bekaa Valley, cradled between two mountain ranges running parallel to Lebanon’s Mediterranean coastline. Vines have been cultivated here for at least 6,000 years: the Phoenicians (seafaring ancestors of the modern Lebanese) were instrumental in bringing vines and wines from Byblos across to all of the areas around the Mediterranean.

Flanked by snow-covered mountains, and nestled at 1000m (3,000 feet) above sea level, the serenely beautiful Bekaa Valley is blessed with 300 days of sunshine a year, fresh mountain breezes and an average temperature of 25°C (encompassing snowy winters and hot summers). Remote and unspoilt, the Musar vineyards were ‘organic’ by default before the term was coined.

All the grapes are hand-harvested by local Bedouins between August and October.

In the winery, ambient yeasts do the work of fermentation. The bare minimum of sulphur is used and the Château Musar wines are neither fined nor filtered.

The 2003 vintage:

“After a rainy winter (records show that it was the rainiest year in 15 years), from mid April onwards not a drop of rain fell and it became hot and sunny. In May when flowering started, a 10 day heatwave reduced the harvest quantity by about 30%. This phenomenon was responsible for the concentration of sugar and acidity in the grapes.

July and August were not as hot as they used to be in years gone by and certainly not as hot as it was in Europe in 2003.
The harvest started on the 4th September and the grapes were very healthy with good maturity and ripeness. Even at the racking stage, we could tell that the wines were reflecting a great year, abundant in tannins, acidity and colour. The wines spent 9 months in cement vats and then a year in French Nevers oak barriques. The three varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan – which up until then had been kept separately, were very fragrant, displaying highly contrasting aromas. Reflecting the superb ripeness of the grapes, and the concentration of sugar and acidity that make this harvest unique, they were well-balanced and richly-textured, with soft tannins.
The final blend rested for another 6 months in vats before being bottled and transferred to the Château Musar cellars high in the mountains at Ghazir to begin its journey of maturation and development.
Château Musar Red 2003, deep, intense ruby in colour, has a complex, intriguing array of aromas: toasted bread, cigar box, fresh tea, plums and Eastern spices. On the palate, there are mature fruits: plums, figs and cherries with hints of tea leaves and dark chocolate. The wine is intense and gregarious, the first taste releasing complex notes of currants, cherries and spice. The structure is light and airy, blending Musar’s classic fruit flavours with a hint of game and finishing with a cleansing acidity. Our first indications were that the 2003 vintage would be full-bodied, powerful with great length and 7 years later upon release in 2010, we have been proven right: these will be the defining characteristics of 2003.”