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Chateau Musar 'Jeune Blanc' White Blend, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 2021

  • $28.00

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VIOGNIER, VERMENTINO, CHARDONNAY, and BLEND
TROPICAL & RICH
ORGANIC FARMING
BOTTLE CLUB 2024, NATURAL WINE, and BIPOC-MADE
BEKAA VALLEY and LEBANON
THE LEVANT

Chateau Musar, located in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, is renowned for its distinctive wines that reflect the region's unique terroir. Founded in 1930 by Gaston Hochar, Chateau Musar has become a symbol of resilience, producing wines even during Lebanon's tumultuous periods, including the civil war. The winery is currently managed by the Hochar family, with Serge Hochar, Gaston's son, having played a significant role in its international acclaim.

  • Winemaker: Serge Hochar
  • Farming: Low-yield, organic farming practices
  • Variety: 40% Viognier, 30% Vermentino, 30% Chardonnay
  • Terroir: Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Chardonnay and Vermentino are grown on limestone soils, while Viognier comes from silty soils. Vine age of 15-18 years at an elevation of 1000 meters above sea level.
  • Vinification: Fermented with wild yeasts in stainless steel tanks.
  • Tasting Note: 2021 vintage is yellow with green reflections. Unique and exotic aromas of green apple, white peaches, pineapple, herbal notes, and a touch of spices and basil. The palate is round and mellow, with flavors of green apple, almonds, basil, and a long aftertaste of vanilla and cream, showcasing the wine's concentration due to low yields.

 

From our July 2024 Explore Like A Somm Bottle Cult Notes:

Château Musar Jeune Blanc White Blend, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 2021
The journey of Château Musar began in 1930 when Gaston Hochar established the winery in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, an lush, mountainous region just a 90-minute drive east of Beirut. This historic valley has a viticultural tradition dating back to the Phoenician era and has seen great empires rise and fall throughout the Mediterranean. Despite numerous obstacles, including the destructive and dangerous 15-year Lebanese Civil War, Château Musar has consistently crafted outstanding wines that embody the distinctive terroir of the Bekaa Valley and the ancient wine culture of Lebanon.

The name Musar comes from the Arabic word M’zar, meaning "place of extraordinary beauty" or "shrine to be visited." The Bekaa Valley, benefits from a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters, and significant diurnal temperature variations that maintain grape acidity. Vineyards at high altitudes (1,000 to 1,500 meters) experience cooler temperatures that slow ripening, enhancing flavor complexity. The calcareous and limestone-based soils, rich in gravel and stone, offer excellent drainage and promote deep root development, adding to the wines' mineral complexity.

Château Musar achieved global acclaim in the 1970s, particularly after respected wine critic and Master of Wine Michael Broadbent declared their 1967 vintage the top wine at the 1979 Bristol Wine Fair. Under the guidance of Gaston's sons, Serge and Ronald Hochar, the winery's reputation flourished. Serge became renowned for his innovative and natural winemaking methods, showing resilience and dedication to making fine wine even under the threat of bombshells, earning a dedicated worldwide following. Now, Serge’s trusted protégé Tarek Sakr has taken the reins of winemaking, innovating while preserving the traditions established by his predecessor, while Serge and Ronald’s sons run the winery business.

The Musar Jeune White is a gorgeous introduction to the world of Lebanese wine. Jeune, a French word meaning "young," means this wine is intended to be enjoyed in its youth, rather than requiring extended aging like some of their more traditional, flagship wines. The 2021 vintage is a blend of Viognier, Vermentino, and Chardonnay, varieties that thrive in the Bekaa Valley and offer big aromatic complexity and texture on the palate. The grapes are hand-harvested and fermented in stainless steel tanks, and then undergo a short period of aging on the lees, which brings a creaminess to the finish. The wine shows a melange of citrus and stone fruits like peach and apricot, with floral honeysuckle. On the palate, it is fresh and lively with lemon zest, orange flower honey, and a wild note of dried hay and chalk.

And of course, the Musar Jeune White pairs beautifully with Lebanese and Mediterranean foods! Pop open a bottle the next time you order Kebabs from La Mediterranée, Fattoush from Reem’s, or Baked Halloumi from Beit Rima— Cara Patricia