Chateau Musar 2001
The Hochar family’s philosophy of respect for the environment means that the 180 hectares of Musar vineyards are managed with minimal human interference and all the wines are made naturally. Chateau Musar was the first producer in Lebanon to achieve organic certification for its vineyards in 2006.
2001 was a most unusual year – although it began normally with some quite rainy and cold days, by mid February the climate changed to much warmer weather with almost no rain or snow at all. From March until August there was only 23mm of precipitation – therefore the total for the year was dramatically less than normal and the water table was significantly lowered. After a regular flowering in the spring, July and August were exceptionally hot. This was the fourth year in a row of very little rainfall causing the vines to tire. Cinsault vines were the most affected, especially those grown on limestone soils. The Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan grapes, with their thicker, firmer skins were more protected from the sun and showed excellent concentration. The Cinsault was still fragrant and fruity but lost some of its colour; the Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan were, however, rich, powerful and fruity with smoky, leathery aromas and deep violet colour.
This vintage is marked by the domination of the Cabernet Sauvignon and the Carignan over the Cinsault. The wine was fermented in cement vats, aged in French Nevers oak barrels for one year and bottled in the summer of 2004. Scarlet in colour with terracotta tones at the rim, it has a complex nose of cigar box spice, warm leather, baked fruits, ripe morello cherries and blackcurrants. The palate has intense flavours of red cherries, dark chocolate, olives, figs and velvet smooth tannins on the very long finish.