Chateau Musar white wines are truly unique, produced from some of the oldest vineyard sites in the world dating back to 5,000 BC, although it was the Phoenicians, the great maritime race of the Mediterranean, who first ‘introduced’ Lebanese wine to a wider audience. Indigenous ancient grape varieties Obaideh and Merwah, reputedly the ancestors of Chardonnay/Chasselas and Semillon are still cultivated from un-grafted vines on original rootstock. The vineyards on the seaward facing slopes of Mount Lebanon and the foothills of Anti-Lebanon were planted between 50 and 90 years ago and are at 1,200 metres above sea level – few vineyards of this calibre and history remain in the world today.
The 2009 is a blend produced from 2/3rd Obaideh and 1/3rd Merwah and was fermented and aged partly in oak barrels for 9 months and partly in stainless steel vats, with temperatures ranging between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius. Obaideh is high in natural grape sugars and low in acidity, yielding wine with a creamy texture and flavours of honey and lemons – Merwah is a light skinned grape variety with light citrus and nut flavours, and blended together they make a distinctive white wine with excellent ageing
2009 was a truly memorable year in the Bekaa Valley and a vintage of two halves – before and after the rain! There was a deluge of rain in late September, unprecedented since records began in 1870. The late ripening indigenous white grapes Obaideh and Merwah began arriving at the winery on the 15th and 21st October respectively, the former halved in yield but superb in quality, with low PH and high acidity, qualities shared by the Merwah.
The Chateau white of this year is a deep golden colour with honeyed aromas, full of tropical fruits; pineapple, banana with warm, toasty buttery notes. The palate is rich in ripe yellow fruits, quince and apricot with the pineapple flavours following through. It also has dried fruits and almonds with oak ageing characters. This is a powerful vintage full of yellow fruits and honeycomb; there is a fine balance between the oily texture and fresh acidity. Cellared well, it will keep for decades.