Chateau Musar was established in 1930 by Gaston Hochar at the tender age of 20. His inspiration was both the 6,000-year winemaking history of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and also his time in Bordeaux – a connection which was strengthened during the Second World War when he befriended Major Ronald Barton of Château Langoa-Barton while he was stationed in Lebanon. In 1959 he graciously stepped aside for his two eager sons Serge and Ronald.
Today it is overseen by the third generation: like their father and uncle, Serge’s eldest son Gaston now manages the day-to-day operation of the winery.
The Musar property is located in the southern end of Bekaa Valley, around 30km north of Beirut. Here the altitude and shelter from surrounding mountains provide excellent growing conditions; the Bekaa valley is almost completely disease and frost free with long mild summers and just enough rain in the winter. The wide range of gravelly soils over limestone is also ideal for viticulture.
Hochar Père et Fils is sourced from specially selected vineyards near the village of Aana in the Bekaa Valley, characterised by deep, gravelly soil over a limestone base. Low yields (25-30 hectolitres per hectare) result in concentrated wine and the altitude keeps the average yearly temperatures at around 25 °C, encompassing cold, snowy winters, mild springs and hot summers.
The Hochar Père et Fils 2016 is a blend of Cinsault (50%), Grenache (35%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (15%). The grapes were fermented between 27 °C and 29 °C with maceration in cement vats, followed by 6 months in French Nevers oak barrels
The Hochar of this year is bright ruby red in colour with red fruits, plums, sloes and cherries on the nose and palate. This balanced and elegant wine combines vibrant fruit on a medium body with soft tannins, good acidity and cellared well, it will keep for several years.
Works well with lamb tagine with prunes, lamb with couscous and orange blossom water, cinnamon, almond and date stuffing, Jamaican goat curry, Quorn gammon roast with smokey paprika spiced lentils