The Lafite of Lebanon: Chateau Musar Vertical
Lebanon was one of the first wine producing regions in history so the Bekaa Valley can trace back its wine production for thousands of years. Today there are still many important vineyards in Lebanon, but without doubt Chateau Musar is the most well known of these.
Chateau Musar is a bewitching creation that continues to cast a spell over many a wine lover, but by rights this 'Lafite of Lebanon' should not even exist. Where some wineries find dealing with excess rainfall a challenge, Chateau Musar once had to contend with hailstorms of shrapnel. It stands just 15 kilometres north of Beirut, which was ravaged by civil war from 1975 to 1990. Incredibly, during that time only two vintages were missed, largely thanks to one man... the great Serge Hochar.
Decanter's first Man of the Year in 1984, he sadly passed away in 2014, but his legacy lives on in this masterful red... and so do the many stories about his remakable life. Once when shells rocked his Beirut apartment he refused to go down to the bomb shelter. Instead he opened a bottle of a favourite Musar vintage and settled down with a good book. By the time the shelling had finished hours later his apartment still stood and the bottle was empty.
Chateau Musar was established in 1930 by Gaston Hochar at the tender age of 20. His inspiration was both the 6,000 year winemaking history of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and also his time in Bordeaux – a connection which was strengthened during the Second World War when he befriended Major Ronald Barton of Château Langoa-Barton while he was stationed in Lebanon. In 1959 he graciously stepped aside for his two eager sons Serge and Ronald. Today it is overseen by the third generation: like their father and uncle, Serge’s eldest son Gaston now manages the day-to-day operation of the winery whereas his younger son Marc helps to control the commercial aspects. Ronald’s son Ralph also works in Musar’s UK office, and his daughter Elsa has immortalised the winery and her family’s rich history in a documentary.
On this evening we will taste six vintages of the famous Chateau Musar spanning ten years plus a Hochar, the easier drinking style.
Wines on Tasting:
- Hochar 2013 (£13)
- Chateau Musar 2009
- Chateau Musar 2006
- Chateau Musar 2003
- Chateau Musar 2002
- Chateau Musar 2000
- Chateau Musar 1999
Places remaining: 1
Course Date/Time: Wed 11th Apr 2018 at 7pm-9pm
Duration: 2 Hours
Venue: Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells TN1 2LY