Every vineyard has its own individual story, but some are truly unique. In this issue, we hear from a genuine one-off – a Lebanese legend.
Interview with Serge Hochar
Q. How long has your family been producing wines in the Lebanon?
A. My father Gaston Hochar started our winery in Ghazir in 1930. Therefore 2010 will be our 80th year of production – 80 years since the creation of this great adventure.
Q. How do vintages vary at Château Musar?
A. Vintage variation is nothing to fear. No two years are the same in nature and we are also changing as we have more experience year after year. As well as varying the proportion of varietals in the blend, each year we use a combination of different vineyards. The assemblage reflects how I perceive the year. My aim is always to show the characteristics of the vintage.
Q. What are your favourite grape varieties?
A. I am most fond of Cinsault and Merwah, an ancient indigenous white grape variety to Lebanon.
Q. If you could have a vineyard anywhere else in the world where would it be?
A. In Mesopotamia.
Q. Can you recommend your favourite food matches with your wines?
A. Personally I adore Château Musar White 1969 with foie gras. Our whites should not be chilled and are perfect food wines.
Q. If you were told you could only drink one more glass of wine ever, what would you choose?
A. Probably a Tokay from Hungary.
The estate’s second wine is vinified in the same way as the first, but without using oak, resulting in lovely smoky plum aromas, a full body and a lingering finish.
Château Musar White 2001 New!
From a blend of two grapes indigenous to Lebanon: Obaideh and Merwah, ancient varieties dating back thousands of years. This enticing wine has intense aromas of toasted brioche, almonds, apricots, baked apples, ripe pears, vanilla pods and honey. The palate is opulent with a buttery texture and vibrant flavours of nuts, tarte tatin, vanilla, butterscotch, apples and quince. It is rich and mellow with a very long, honeyed finish.
Château Musar 2002
Concentrated and rich with plums, liquorice and spice. Musar is a fabulously different wine, very powerful but with plenty of finesse.
*All prices valid until 1st February 2010