wine loft birmingham lebanese wineUncork an organic wine with a heroic history. 

By Jan Walsh

Photography by Beau Gustafson 

Tonight at the Wine Loft, Certified Sommelier, Stella Nystrom shares a beautiful Chateaux Musar Jeune Rough 2011—and its amazing history.  

This Lebanese wine has a heroic history that dates back many vintages. Founded in 1930, Chateaux Muscar by Gaston Hochar in an 18th Century Castle. In 1959 his son, Serge became winemaker, after studying at the University of Bordeaux. The vineyards, located in the Bekaa Valley and in Mount Barouk, have stood the test of time and the ravages of war. Not even a civil war, from 1975 until 1990, could defeat these wines once winemaker, Serge refused to abandon them. Although the vineyards were close to the frontline in the Lebanon War of 1982 that continued to  rage near the vines during the 1983 harvest, Serge was smuggled there to make the wine. The same conditions continued in 1988.  And in 1989 the Hochar family home and the Chateau Musar winery both took direct hits from shells—while the cellar served as both a wine cellar and a bomb shelter for the local people. Thus only two vintages were lost to war—1976 and 1984. 

Chateaux Musar Jeune Rough 2011 is a blend of Cinsault, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Jeune Rouge is also known as cuvee rouge. The 2011 vintage is violet in color, fruity and balanced with lively acidity, with notes of strawberry, blueberry, blackberry, bell pepper and vanilla. It is unique in its light body, acidic style and fruity flavor. The vineyards are organic certified by IMC—Istituto Mediterraneo Di Certificazione. Chill in the fridge and enjoy during our warm fall days, as you transition from summer whites to fall reds. 

Published, B-Metro magazine, September, 2014