Name: Rouge (Gaston Hochar)
Type: Red Wine
Grape Type: Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault
Grapes and vines
Chateau Musar Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault from vineyards near the Bekaa Valley villages of Aana and Kefraya on gravelly soils over limestone. Planted from the 1930s onwards, yields are low from these mature bushvines (average age: 40 years): Between 15 to 35hl per hectare.
The winter preceding the 1998 harvest was a normal Lebanese winter- a mixture of cold, rainy and snowy weather with several weeks of sunshine. This was followed by a cold, wet spring which lasted until June. Summer followed its normal pattern, although from June until October there was no rain at all.
The harvest started on the 9th September with mixed maturity levels: some grapes were already quite mature, whilst we delayed harvesting others for up to two more weeks. There was no obvious reason for this diversity, but this is "les caprices de la nature".
The crop was good in terms of both quality and quantity - the grapes were healthy and very good to eat. Fermentation progressed smoothly, although slightly more quickly than usual, maceration was up to four weeks and the wines spent one year in French Nevers oak casks. It was blended in September 2000 and bottled in August 2001..
Decanting and serving
Bottled unfined and unfiltered, Chateau Musar Reds are suitable for vegans (fining agents often contain animal proteins); they’re also richly-textured and likely to ‘throw a crust’. This is a common feature of most fine wines and is especially true of Musar Red vintages over a decade old. Ideally, bottles should be standing up the night before opening to allow the sediment to settle. After careful decanting (and discarding of sediment, usually in the last centimetre of the bottle) the wine should be allowed to breathe for several hours and served at 18°C with roasts, grills (especially lamb), casseroles, game, and mature cheeses. It is a deep, rich garnet colour with aromas of raisins, cedar, prunes and cinnamon. The 1998 The 1998 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan, which come from vineyards with an average age of 40 years. This vintage has more Cinsault, making it very fragrant and aromatic. The wine is smooth and balanced with soft harmony- seductive and immensely appealing.
Acidity: 4.22 g/l
Residual Sugar: < 2.00 g/l
Region: Bekaa Valley, Lebanon