2001 Château Musar Rouge Bekaa Valley
Wine & Spirits
As elegant as Serge Hochar himself, the man behind Château Musar, this blend of cabernet sauvignon, carignan and cinsault is lithe yet firm. The fruit feels autumnal, in shades of rust red and ocher spice, and is saturated with a spicy, foresty fragrance. It's delicious now, ready for game birds scented with juniper berries, and should live on for another decade.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Nuanced by cherries and spice, it is quite delicious...The ’00 is the powerhouse bruiser, the most rustic, while the Hochar is the approachable, easier wine. This is the one in the middle, arguably the best balance of fruit and power. On the downside, this is as gamey and funky as the 2000, but the balance is different, the wine seeming fruitier and fleshier, not quite as austere. Depending on your taste, you may find that a good thing, or prefer the more powerful and intellectual 2000. This is still powerful, I hasten to add, with drying notes on the finish, but the fruitiness melds beautifully with the barnyard notes, and it is nicely supported by the tannin rather than overwhelmed. As with the 2000, this should age well, although the 2000 should age longer, and this will be a wine some will love, and some will find has too much barnyard. Personally, I enjoyed it a lot, and was just imagining how it would work with venison. Drink now-2020.
Delicate, mature aromas and flavors of dried cherry, currant, plum and berry make for a sumptuous and supple red. The long finish is filled with clove and ginger, with hints of cola. Equal parts Cinsault, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon. (Web-2010)
Cinnamon and nutmeg spice on the nose gives this Cinsault/Carignan/Cabernet/Syrah blend from Lebanon a comforting character. On the palate, it offers smoke, spice and nuts. Slightly heavy on the palate, but overall, an intriguing alternative for hearty dishes.
Though Middle-Eastern wine is something of a novelty in the U.S., wine is nothing new to this area; the cultivation of the vine goes back to the Phoenicians who did a brisk business trading their wares along the Mediterranean sea ports, introducing viniculture into many parts of southern Europe. Perhaps the oldest running wine concern in the region, Chateau Musar has been making fine wine 15 miles north of Beirut since 1930! These are reds of great character and subtlety, decidedly Old World in style. The Chateau Château "Gaston Hochar" is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan. During the first year the wine is racked into Bordeaux type barrels made from Nevers oak and where it matures from 12 to 15 months.