2001 Château Musar Rouge Bekaa Valley

SKU #1061600 93 points 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.  (6/ 2010)

91 points 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.  (2/ 2010)

89 points Wine Spectator

 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)

Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (12/ 2009)

K&L Notes

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.

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By: Chris Miller |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 6/24/2011  | Send Email
My exact tasting note from this wine; "Incredibly intriguing nose, complex, with spice, black licorice, chocolate. Absolutely bursting with rich, chewy fruit. Incredible depth for such a light wine. Awesome!" I was really blown away by this wine. If I were tasting it blind I would guess I were tasting a great Grand Riserva from a stalwart, old school Rioja producer like Cune, Muga or Lopez de Heredia. Just insanely pleasurable to taste (even more so to drink!). I'm happy to see the wines of Gaston Hochar have evolved to such a level, becoming truly world class wines, without giving in to succumbing to an international style, thereby forfeiting the soul of the wine and the place it's grown. Highly, highly recommended. CM

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

Lebanon