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Lot# 201702007
Chateau Musar 1995
Bekka Valley
Rating: RP 85

The 1995 Chateau Musar represents an extreme in terms of Musar’s love-it-or-hate-it vintages. This should be far more controversial than wines such as the 1981 or 1967. Even while Serge Hochar called it “a great vintage,” he acknowledged its unusual properties. It was a relatively late harvest, for one thing. Its commercial release was delayed to the point where the 1996 was put out first. The first nuance on this was unusual sweetness. The second was obvious volatile acidity. (Indeed an earlier bottle tasted was far stronger in that regard and smelled largely of turpentine. The score is based only on the sounder bottle.) The structure here is undeniably fine, to be sure. It is powerful, fresh, young and pointed, with a surprisingly graceful feel at times. I couldn’t get past its eccentricities, though. It is a notably flawed wine that is over the line. To be sure, it does enough well – sometimes beautifully – that I can say I’d still drink it and it can’t be ignored. It will surely work better with food, too. As with most all of the wines here, this has the structure to preserve it a good long while, but whether you really want to cellar this a long time may be another story. Drink now.

No. of Bottles 6
Estimate $/Btl Above HK$850.00
Current Bid/Btl HK$580.00
Each Bid HK$50.00
Closing: 2017-07-06 17:00:00
 ( --days--hrs--mins--secs left ) 
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Chateau Musar - Bekka Valley 1995
Type: Red
Country: Others
Region: Others
Vintage: 1995
Bottle Size: 75CL
No. of Bottles: 6
Wooden Case: None
Condition: Within Neck

After the endless very hot Indian summer in 1994, December and January were freezing cold but February, March and April were very mild. Rain and hail affected the flowering in May and June but the summer of 1995 followed its normal pattern and we expected an early maturity. The harvest began on 12th September which was later than we expected for this vintage, however just slightly earlier than our usual start date of 15th September. The quality of the 1995 harvest was exceptional but there was one problem - the actual size of the crop was down by more than 30% this year. Fermentation progressed smoothly and in some cases lasted until the following March and April 1996! My tasting notes at the time were extremely favourable with some curious wonder - definitely a most interesting vintage… The Chateau Musar Red 1995 has indeed proved to be a great vintage - a very important wine with immense power and concentration of fruit. One third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan were blended in the third year following the harvest and the wine was bottled in July and August 1998.

Musar is one of the Middle East’s iconic wineries, making wines that are rarely “by the numbers” correct, but often distinctive. Over the years, I’ve loved some and disliked others, but I’ve always found them fascinating. Their “flaws” will not make them universally loved, with many being turned off for one reason or another (such as the barnyard and funk that often accompanies them). Those who do like their style and character will be, and have been, enthralled by ageworthy wines coming from an unlikely location.


Château Musar is the name of a Lebanese winery in Ghazir, Lebanon, 24 kilometres (15 mi) north of the capital Beirut. Musar grapes grow in the Beqaa Valley, a fertile sunny valley at an elevation of 1,000 metres (3,300 ft),situated 40 km (25 mi) east of Beirut.


The red wine, which is the best known is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache, and Mourvèdre grapes in varying amounts each year. The whites are made from Obaideh (related to Chardonnay) and Merwah (related to Sémillon). Both wines contain classic Bordeaux grapes, however they are very different, as they are made in a natural wine style with significant bottle variation. The wines generally improve with age, both the red and whites.

They also produce a single vineyard wine, Hochar, which is similar to the red Musar but is oak aged for only 9 months, and can be drunk younger, as well as the Cuvée Musar range, both produced as a red, white and a rosé.Hochar Père et Fils is released earlier and can be used as an indication of what the Château Musar wine will be like. It is usually around half the price of the regular Château Musar. They have also begun production of a restaurant range, Musar Mosaic, and a wine from their younger grapes, Musar Jeune.