Chateau Musar is a bit of legend and has a loyal following, and it is easy to understand why. When I started in the wine business back in the early nineties you could buy their old vintages for a song. Even now, their fully mature vintages when compared to their equivalents from Bordeaux are remarkably good value.
I once had the very good fortune to be seated next to Serge Hochar at a wine dinner in London, a few months before he tragically died in a swimming accident in 2014. Serge had already been Decanter Magazine's Man of the Year and to anyone in the wine trade, he was a legend: not only for his winemaking skills, but for his triumph over adversity of being able to make wine in the war-torn Bekaa Valley during the civil war of the 1980s.
I complimented Serge on his reds stating that I had always been a great admirer, but I happened to mention that I didn't really understand his white wine - in a diplomatic way, of course. Rather than being affronted, Serge explained that I mustn't think of his white wines like any other so he invited me to taste his wines, with him, at the London Wine Fair the very next day. Eager to take him up on his offer, we tasted through the reds, followed by the whites. 5 years later I am struggling to remember precisely the vintages of white that we tasted, but there was at least something from the 1970s, and almost certainly I am correct in remembering the 1989. This was a revelation. I was convinced, right there and then. This just goes to show what a great advocate Serge was for his wines
The Phoenicians were known as the merchants of the ancient world, sailing the Mediterranean basin trading in all manner of goods, but almost certainly they traded in wine and vines, and this culture continues to this day in the modern equivalent, in the country that we now call Lebanon. This country now has a thriving wine industry, nearly all of it located in the Bekaa Valley. This lush, green plateau is fed by the melting snow from the Lebanon and Anti Lebanon mountain ranges, and due to its elevation of around 1,000 metres in some vineyard sites, the climate is cooler than its southerly latitude would lead you to believe.
If you have never tried Chateau Musar, I would urge you to do so. These wines are unique and there are very few places in the world that have been making wine so long. Taste a piece of ancient history