A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

to your health: the wines of Lebanon go west

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on December 23, 2006

This afternoon I escorted my parents through the new “downtown” Whole Foods. My mother was enchanted – we went up and down every aisle while she exclaimed over each different item. I lost them in cereal; found them amongst the potato chips. This evening she told my sister: “it was like a trip around the world”.

honestly, I haven’t had so much fun with my parents since I took my mother on her first city bus trip earlier this fall.

The grocery extravaganze paid off richly for me, too, as I spotted this bottle hiding modestly amidst WF’s many wines:

hochar_red.jpg

Michael Karam, whose deeply professional spitting prowess impressed me greatly at a private Chateau Massaya function last spring, had this to say about Musar’s wines in an interview published on Wine-Pages.com early last summer:

“Musar needs no introduction, but readers may not be as familiar with the Hochar Pére et Fils 2000, Musar’s second and, according to Serge Hochar, “more accessible” creation. A Cinsault, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan blend, it is, as with all Hochar’s wines, one that you will either love or dismiss as an anachronism (or worse). I like it. A nose of rain on wood, tobacco and oranges, while in the mouth, it is all berries and chocolate. One really should sample the eccentric, trippy and generally thought-provoking ‘Château’ whites and the chocolaty Cuvée Réserve Rosé.”

(http://www.wine-pages.com/features/lebanon.htm)

Writing shortly after the summer war began, Sean of More Is Less had this to say about Musar’s 2001 Hochar Pere et Fils:

“Château Musar makes a few other wines, one of which is Hochar Père et Fils. This label produces a red, a white and a rosé. I picked up a bottle of the red the other night because I really have a thing for Château Musar and think they can do no wrong as far as my palate is concerned.

According to their web site, the Hochar is “A mix of cabernet sauvignon, of carignan with a dominance of cinsault and a hint of grenache, the HPF is partially aged in oak vats from 6 to 9 months.”

Its colour is much lighter than I’m used to from any red wine other than one made by Musar. Despite the lighter colour, it’s still pretty full-bodied and carries the distinctive Musar-like nose. I don’t really know how to accurately desribe the nose. If you’ve had a Château Musar red, you know what I’m talking about. It’s light-berry-like with touches of tar and leather, but in a really unique way… like it’s been run through a ripe cranberry patch on the way to the tasting. It’s really unique and tasty. I could definitely pick these wines out in a brown-bag tasting.

The label recommends decanting and I’d definitely stick with that… about an hour’s worth. After that, strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. It’s unlike many wines out there at the moment and that a GOOD thing. I really like this. So tasty.”

(http://www.moreisless.ca/?p=125)

Yum. I can’t wait to open this bottle during our Christmas dinner.

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