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RED WINE

Hochar Père et Fils Red Blend, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 2020

  • $42.00

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CINSAULT, CABERNET FRANC, GRENACHE, and BLEND
EARTHY & COMPLEX, MINERAL, and TANNIC
ORGANIC FARMING
BOTTLE CLUB 2024 and CRITIC SCORE 90+
BEKAA VALLEY and LEBANON
THE LEVANT

Three years in the making, Hochar Père et Fils is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from a single vineyard in the Western Bekaa Valley, near the village of Aana. 

  • Winemaker: Serge Hochar
  • Farming: Low-yield mature bushvines averaging 30 years old, yielding 20-30 hl per hectare.
  • Variety: 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Terroir: Single vineyard near the Bekaa Valley village of Aana, characterized by deep, gravelly soil over limestone at 1000 meters above sea level.
  • Vinification: Grapes fermented at 27-29°C with 15 to 20 days maceration in cement vats, followed by 6 months in French Nevers oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
  • Aging: Aged for 6 to 9 months in French oak barrels before blending and bottling. Released after four years of maturation.
  • Tasting Note: Deep burgundy in color with transparent layers, showcasing Grenache. Aromas of ripe red cherry, plums, dates, mulberries, and tea leaves. On the palate, it is Mediterranean with sweet tannins and spices, improving with a day of breathing time.

Additional Notes:

    • Storage: Must be cellared in darkness, lying on their sides, without unnecessary movement or temperature fluctuations.
    • Decanting and Serving: Ideally decanted up to one hour before serving at 16-18°C. Pairs well with casseroles, roasted meats, tuna steaks, and Mediterranean dishes.
    • Harvest: Benefited from ideal flowering conditions and overcame a heatwave in September, leading to a concentrated and flavorful wine.

From our July 2024 Cellar Builder Club notes:

Hochar Père et Fils Red Blend, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon 2020
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.
Hochar Père et Fils is newer wine in the Musar family, and is a blend of 50% Cinsault, 40% Grenache, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from low-yield, mature bush vines averaging 30 years of age. The grapes undergo fermentation with 15 to 20 days of maceration in cement vats, followed by up to 9 months in French Nevers oak barrels. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered, then aged in bottle for four years before release to allow its tannins and power to mellow out.
In the glass, the wine pours a deep burgundy with light ruby layers, showcasing the influence of Grenache. But overall, it drinks a bit like a Right Bank Bordeaux, with aromas of ripe red cherry, plums, dates, dried mulberries, and tea leaves. On the palate, the wine is truly Mediterranean with bold, chewy tannins and dried brown spice. Feel free to age this for a few years, but promise me that when you pop this bottle, you’ll decant it for at least an hour, and enjoy it with something spiced and savory like Lamb Kofta and Mujadara, or with a perfectly grilled steak and sweet potato mash. —Cara Patricia, July 2024