Lebanese Wine

Sip-Wine-LoftUncork an organic wine with a heroic history. 

By Jan Walsh    

Photography by Beau Gustafson


Tonight at the Wine Loft, certified sommelier Stella Nystrom shares a beautiful Chateaux Musar Jeune Rough 2011 and its amazing history.  

This Lebanese wine has a story that dates back many vintages. Chateaux Musar was founded in 1930 by Gaston Hochar in an 18th-century castle. In 1959, his son, Serge, became a wine maker after studying at the University of Bordeaux. The vineyards, located in the Bekaa Valley and in Mount Barouk, have stood the test of time and the ravages of war. Not even a civil war could defeat these wines once Serge refused to abandon them. Although the vineyards were close to the frontline in the Lebanon War of 1982 that continued to rage near the vines during the 1983 harvest, Serge was smuggled there to make the wine. The same conditions continued in 1988. And in 1989, the Hochar family home and the Chateau Musar winery both took direct hits from shells, while the cellar served as both a wine cellar and a bomb shelter for the local people. Only two vintages were lost to war—1976 and 1984.

Chateaux Musar Jeune Rough 2011 is a blend of Cinsault, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Jeune Rouge is also known as cuvee rouge. The 2011 vintage is violet in color, fruity, and balanced, with notes of strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, bell pepper, and vanilla. The vineyards are organic certified by Istituto Mediterraneo Di Certificazione. Chill in the fridge and enjoy during our warm fall days as you transition from summer whites to fall reds.

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