Château Musar Rouge, Bekaa Valley, Gaston Hochard, Lebanon 2012
The harvest of 2011 posed one of the most challenging experiences in wine-making at Chateau Musar over the last 20 years, as it was one of the most untypical years in Lebanese history.
The year began with a cold January but with insufficient rain. February proved similar with March being sunnier but April and May produced the really big surprise with a level of rainfall to match January, February and March combined! The main result of the rain was very late maturation, with flowering occurring 25 days later than usual and this delay continued over the maturation period and up to the harvesting day. Our first Carignan was harvested on the 22nd September and then on the 23rd it rained for three days from the 23rd until the 25th September with the Carignan and the Cinsault not yet harvested. The Carignan resisted the rain but the Cinsault was more affected. The harvest was finally completed on the 13th October, which with the exception of our 1983 vintage, was the latest in our company’s history.
The 2011 vintage is the traditional blend of approximately one third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan. The bottling took place 3 years later in 2014, after the wines spent a year in French Nevers oak barrels.
Released in the spring of 2018, Chateau Musar Red 2011 is a dark blood red colour with a rich, fragrant fruit nose; mulberries, black cherries, plums with a hint of mocha. The palate is very intense and concentrated, it’s full of volume and characterised by forest and black fruits with elegant spice. The tannins are soft and juicy and it has a lengthy finish. Chateau Musar Red 2011 is a vibrantly powerful vintage and cellared well it will keep for decades.
Grapes: Third of each Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan