CHATEAU MUSAR 2003 RED
Lebanon, Bekaa Valley
Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Cinsault
Seven years in the making, Chateau Musar Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault from vineyards near the Bekaa Valley villages of Ammiq, Aana and Kefraya on gravelly soils over limestone. Planted from the 1930s onwards, yields are low from these mature bushvines (average age: 40 years): 35hl per hectare.
The varietal components in Chateau Musar Red undergo lengthy fermentations in cement-lined vats at temperatures below 30°C. Racked from their yeast ‘lees’ 6 months after the harvest they are transferred into French barrels (oak from the forest of Nevers, one-third new each vintage) for one year.
The varietal components are brought together two years after the harvest; the resulting blend is then placed back in cement-lined tanks before being bottled 12 months later. Each wine is blended to reflect the strengths of the vintage: in hotter years, Cabernet Sauvignon might dominate (the thick-skinned grapes fare better in the heat); cooler conditions can favour the Cinsault grape. After 4 years’ bottle maturation in the deep stone cellars of Chateau Musar, the finished wines are released a full seven years after the harvest.