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Grape Types

Chateau Musare


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The grand vin here is the red Chateau Musar, a blend which may include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsaut, Carignan, Grenache and Mourvedre. The wine is fermented in concrete, before spending one year in vat, then a year in French oak, before going back to vat for several years. Hochar believes his wine needs years - perhaps ten - before it is ready for drinking, and the wines are already some way towards that age when they are finally released onto the market. The white Chateau Musar is made from native varieties which include Merwah and Obaideh. It has an oxidised style that is too much for some.The wines first appeared on the UK market in 1979, when they were available for tasting at the Bristol Wine Fair. Too many tasters characterise them as "Bordeaux-like", "Rhone-like" or "Burgundy-like". It is clear that Musar is none of these things - it is unique. I accept that this wine can polarise opinion; some think it of high quality or at least good value, whereas others regard it is poor quality, faulty winemaking. I agree with the former with the red, but tend to fall in with the opposite camp where the white is concerned, but it is all down to personal taste. In addition there are a number of lesser cuvees which have been added to the range available on the UK market, some as recently as 2005. For a taste of Musar style, with less outlay and for earlier drinking, the wine to try is Hochar Pere et Fils, which is available as red, white and a rose too. And there are a selection of second wines, the Cuvee Musar range, also red, white and rose.