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Château Musar Library Vintages to enjoy this winter

The clocks go back this weekend and winter is well and truly on the way, so a warming red may be some antidote.  We trawled through our cellars this morning and were pleased to find we still have some useful parcels of older Château Musar, having held back some stocks over the last year.

We have an enormous fondness for this unique estate, following it since the nineties.  The wines never fail to impress us, for many reasons.  Things have been incredibly difficult for them, with the Beirut explosion, Covid, and then the political and currency crisis in Lebanon.  Simply getting their wines out of the country has been a great challenge. 

Happily, Musar is the embodiment of resilience and we are hopeful that the situation is beginning to improve, so we feel safe to offer the library vintages below, in expectation of shipping more soon.  Most of these wines were matured a Musar's own cellars, in perfect conditions.  

You are probably familiar with Château Musar's story, but it is so extraordinary, it is worth reminding yourself.  You can read more about it here.  Or, simply e-mail us to order.

 Immediately available, offered duty paid, ex-VAT.

Château Musar, Lebanon

Producer Profile

Château Musar, Lebanon

Château Musar takes its name from the 18th-century castle of M’Zar, in the town of Ghazir, 25 kilometres north of Beirut.  Musar was established by Gaston Hochar (1910-1972) in 1930, who, aged just 20, saw a market for red Bordeaux-style wines to supply French soldiers stationed in Lebanon.  During WWII, Gaston became friends with Ronald Barton, of Château Leoville-Barton (who was at that time stationed in Lebanon as an army officer).  Their conversations and friendship further convinced Gaston of the potential for Musar to become the ‘Lafite of Lebanon’.

Gaston’s son Serge (1939-2014) went to study winemaking at the University of Bordeaux and took over as cellar master as Musar in 1959.  His bother Ronald (named after Ronald Barton, perhaps?) took on finance and marketing.  Advised by the Barton family, Musar began ageing its wines in French oak barrels in the mid-1950s.

Musar’s extraordinarily close relationship with the UK began in 1979, when Michael Broadbent hailed the 1967 as the ‘find of the fair’.  From the mid-late ‘70s onwards, Serge Hochar became famous for continuing to produce wine during the Lebanese crisis and the civil war which raged into the 1980s.  Grapes were harvested as Syrian tanks rolled through the vineyards and the journey to transport the fruit to Musar’s winery took them through minefields.  The only vintages in which no wine at all was produced were 1976 and 1984.  This helped to build Musar’s legend in the UK.  We can recall Musar being an institution with wine merchants and their customers in the City by the 1990s. Gaston Hochar (b. 1966) took over the running of Musar in 1994.

Musar does not have its own vineyards but buys the grapes from long-term contract grape growers in the Bekaa Valley, where there are around thirty other wineries.  The Roman Temple of Bacchus in the Bekaa Valley (home to Musar's vineyards) is a reminder that grapes have been grown here for more than five thousand years, pre-dating viticulture in Bordeaux by three millennia!  Ralph Hochar describes the style of Musar as not 'New World' or 'Old World' but 'Ancient World'.  Temperatures in the Bekaa can be high, but cool air from the surrounding Anti-Lebanon Mountains help to maintain a balance.  The location of the valley, just a few kilometres from the border with Syria, is an amazing testament to the complex cultural melting-pot of Lebanon.  Although around two-thirds of the country are Muslim, winemaking is tolerated and pride taken in the wines the country produces.  When ISIS controlled the parts of Syria immediately across the border, Hezbollah militants protected the border and Bekaa…yet another example of what a miracle it is that this wine exists at all!

The vineyards supplying Musar cover a total of 130 hectares on gravelly slopes with lime subsoil at an average altitude of 1,000 metres above sea level. The extremely low yields are limited to a maximum of 25 hectolitres per hectare. The grapes are still transported about a hundred kilometres from the Bekaa Valley to the winery.

The red wines are made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan Noir (Mazuelo), Cinsault, Grenache Noir (Garnacha Tinta), Mourvèdre (Monastrell) and Syrah. Château Musar itself is a blend of Cinsault, Carignan Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, matured for 12 months in French barriques and in bottle for four years.  White Chateau Musar is made from Obeïdi (thought to be a clone of Chardonnay) and Merwah (Sémillon). The wines are usually bottled without fining or filtration. 600,000 to 700,000 bottles of wine are produced each year, 80% of it exported.  The UK accounts for around half of this, the rest being exported to 60 different countries around the world. Musar also has extensive reserves of older vintages for sale, dating back to the 1954.  These are stored in their cellar at M’Zar and are reconditioned and recorked as required.

RED 1956 2 bottles Château Musar 75cl £1,750 per bottle Château Musar
1956 / 2 bottles / 75cl
£1,750 per bottle
DP
RED 1959 2 bottles Château Musar 75cl £1,400 per bottle Château Musar
1959 / 2 bottles / 75cl
£1,400 per bottle
DP
RED 1960 3 bottles Château Musar 75cl £850 per bottle Château Musar
1960 / 3 bottles / 75cl
£850 per bottle
DP
RED 1964 2 bottles Château Musar 75cl £750 per bottle Château Musar
1964 / 2 bottles / 75cl
£750 per bottle
DP
RED 1966 1 bottle Château Musar 75cl £540 per bottle Château Musar
1966 / 1 bottle / 75cl
£540 per bottle
DP
RED 1967 3 bottles Château Musar 75cl £580 per bottle Château Musar
1967 / 3 bottles / 75cl
£580 per bottle
DP
RED 1969 1 bottle Château Musar 75cl £560 per bottle Château Musar
1969 / 1 bottle / 75cl
£560 per bottle
DP
RED 1970 1 bottle Château Musar 75cl £440 per bottle Château Musar
1970 / 1 bottle / 75cl
£440 per bottle
DP
RED 1974 2 cases Château Musar 75cl £1,560 per case of 6 Château Musar
1974 / 2 cases / 75cl
£1,560 per case of 6
DP
RED 1978 1 case Château Musar 75cl £1,295 per case of 6 Château Musar
1978 / 1 case / 75cl
£1,295 per case of 6
DP
RED 1994 1 case Château Musar 75cl £540 per case of 6 Château Musar
1994 / 1 case / 75cl
£540 per case of 6
DP
RED 1996 1 case Château Musar 75cl £450 per case of 6 Château Musar
1996 / 1 case / 75cl
£450 per case of 6
DP
RED 1997 3 cases Château Musar 75cl £250 per case of 6 Château Musar
1997 / 3 cases / 75cl
£250 per case of 6
DP
RED 1998 10 cases Château Musar 75cl £215 per case of 6 Château Musar
1998 / 10 cases / 75cl
£215 per case of 6
DP
RED 2000 9 cases Château Musar 75cl £180 per case of 6 Château Musar
2000 / 9 cases / 75cl
£180 per case of 6
DP
RED 2002 2 cases Château Musar 75cl £260 per case of 6 Château Musar
2002 / 2 cases / 75cl
£260 per case of 6
DP
RED 2005 1 case Château Musar 75cl £330 per case of 6 Château Musar
2005 / 1 case / 75cl
£330 per case of 6
DP
RED 2008 3 cases Château Musar 75cl £280 per case of 6 Château Musar
2008 / 3 cases / 75cl
£280 per case of 6
DP
RED 2009 4 cases Château Musar 75cl £250 per case of 6 Château Musar
2009 / 4 cases / 75cl
£250 per case of 6
DP
RED 2010 2 cases Château Musar 75cl £260 per case of 6 Château Musar
2010 / 2 cases / 75cl
£260 per case of 6
DP
RED 2011 9 cases Château Musar 75cl £280 per case of 6 Château Musar
2011 / 9 cases / 75cl
£280 per case of 6
DP
RED 2015 5 cases Château Musar 75cl £160 per case of 6 Château Musar
2015 / 5 cases / 75cl
£160 per case of 6
DP
RED 2016 4 cases Château Musar 75cl £150 per case of 6 Château Musar
2016 / 4 cases / 75cl
£150 per case of 6
DP
RED 2016 10 cases Château Musar Half bottle £165 per case of 12 Château Musar
2016 / 10 cases / Half bottle
£165 per case of 12
DP
RED 2016 10 cases Château Musar Magnum £165 per case of 3 Château Musar
2016 / 10 cases / Magnum
£165 per case of 3
DP

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