Wine of the Middle East – Chateau Musar

As you can imagine working in an airport you see and deal with a wide variety of people from all sorts of backgrounds. I still after 2 years find it difficult to not crack a smile when people ask for wine from Dubai. You know Dubai, that country in the desert with 50 degree temps in summer and is a Muslim country? I really shouldn’t laugh as that would have probably been me 5 or so years ago…perhaps!

One of the beauties I have discovered working out here is the delights of the Lebanese wine from the Bekkaa Valley. It’s the closest thing you are going to get to a Middle Eastern tipple, so grab your hummus and tabouli and let’s get drinking.Morgan and I regularly buy wines from the Massaya vineyard for everyday consumption; they are well affordable and pretty delectable at the same time. However at work we have built up quite a stunning collection of probably the most well known Lebanese vineyard – Chateau Musar.Founded in 1930 before even the New Zealand wine industry emerged, this Chateau has been on the frontline of war, acting as a bomb shelter for the locals during large bomb attacks on Beirut. Alongside these challenges, the Musar vines are located about 30 miles from the winery which during harvest time can mean the grapes have a long slow journey to undertake before they are vinified. Musar addicts and admirers believe this procedure in someway contributes to the style and character of the wines.

Recently I tried the 1995 vintage and I swear once I got my first whiff of it I was suddenly in my gumboots standing in a big pile of manure on a farm! Not exactly a smell everybody adores but once you dig a bit deeper the scent of strawberries and cherries emerges with some sweet spice mixed in there. On the palate the strong animalistic characters come through as well as the signature volatile acidity of Musar. Though the acids are surprisingly well balanced with the tannins contributing to a nice structured body with an after taste of old leather.

I know people who would really love this style of red wine, though I have to admit it’s not one I could sit in front of a fire with and get through the whole bottle.

Grab a glass of wine and let me know what you think...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.