Thursday, July 24, 2008
Gaston Hochar is a genius or, as pal Massoud likes to call him, a 'weasel'. It is through Gaston's genius that we have Chateau Musar, the daddy of all Lebanese wines, the result of a tradition of viticulture that goes back thousands of years in that sun-kissed mediterranean coast.
Chateau Musar is pretty natural as wines go: it's still produced in the 'old' way, isn't fined (and so should really be decanted) and produces an amazing, strong-tasting and complex wine that I happen to be a huge fan of. The 1999 is the year to go for unless you have deep pockets indeed.
So when pal Ammouni came back from Beirut recently hefting not one but two bottles of 1997 with my name on them (the 'best ever fermentation' according to Serge Musar), I was a delighted chap. I mean, what a girl! But then, treat heaped on treat, nestled in between them was a bottle of 2004 Cuvee Musar, the 'second wine' of Musar. And what a delight it was! All the complexity and old woody tones of Musar, all of the strength of flavour - a truly great wine in itself and a wonderful discovery.