Chateau Musar Hochar - 2019
Libanon | Bekaa Valley | D6
Hochar Père et Fils Red 2012
Hochar Père et Fils is sourced from specially selected vineyards near the village of Aana in the Bekaa Valley, characterised by deep, gravelly soil over a limestone base. Low yields (25-30 hectolitres per hectare) result in concentrated wines and the altitude keeps the average yearly temperatures at around 25 º C, encompassing cold, snowy winters, mild springs and hot summers.
The 2012 vintage is a blend of Cinsault (45%), Grenache (25%), Carignan (10%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%). The grapes were fermented between 27 º C to 30 º C, with 15-30 days maceration in cement vats, followed by 9 months in French Nevers oak barrels. It was blended in the spring of 2014 and bottled later in the same year.
In 2012, we didn’t finish pruning until the end of March, as January and February had been extremely cold and snowy and at that stage we were predicting a generous harvest. April was fresh and rainy, giving a boost to the opening of the buds and by early May, all the vineyards were astonishingly green. June was very hot but the vines withstood this and flowering occurred with such success that we started to predict at least 20% more grapes than 2011. However as we have learned through the years, nature can rarely be predicted! A very hot July and August with heat-waves and temperatures reaching 40 degrees, caused the vines to become tired and leaves turned pale, even to yellow in some places, almost as if October was early. Sugar content rose dramatically but acidity remained high. Our expectations for a later harvest had to be revised.
Red fermentation was difficult this year due to different levels of grape maturation. Some vats fermented very slowly with others much faster but in both cases, the results were very promising – especially the Grenache which was super ripe and intensely sweet.
The 2012 vintage of Hochar Red is in fact dominated by the sweetness of the Grenache even though it only accounts for a quarter of the overall blend. This wine has a bright crimson colour – a lovely depth of berry fruit on the nose and the palate is full and broad with layers of fruit and spice, cherries, raspberries and liquorice aromatics. Lovely purity with depth of fruit and a long, firm finish.
It will benefit from being decanted and served at between 16-18 º C. Cellared in a steady environment, it will age for at least a decade from the harvest.