1997 Château Musar Bekaa Valley
Though Middle-Eastern wine is something of a novelty here, 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. According to Michael Broadbent "1997: First tasted with Serge Hochar in the Chateau Musar cellars, December 1999. The wine was still in individual vats: Cinsault from the garrigues of Kefraya in the Bekaa Valley: crisp, fragrant; attractive, some elegance. Carignan from Ana, a little further north: more flesh, nice fruit, very tannic. Cabernet Sauvignon was an incredibly deep colour; green, stalkv nose; austere, astringent. It would be another year before blending. Most recently, seemed fully developed, good flavour, lovely aftertaste. Last tasted May 2002 ****" According to the Wine Spectator: "Chateau Musar produces world-class wines that age magnificently."