This was yet another privileged event for my other half and I, having been invited again to another of O'Gourmet's very exclusive wine tasting evenings.We were very excited to hear that they were featuring Lebanese wines that evening. What with the sheer production volume and reputation of the French wines and now, New World wineries, we have perhaps forgotten that the area around Lebanon was most possibly the granddaddy of all wine growing regions and the birthplace of wine itself! And apparently,
Chateau Musar had been around since the 1930s. Duh.
We also had the privilege of having the winery owner himself, Mr Ralph Hochar of Chateau Musar, who is the 3rd generation owner, to present his very exclusive and limited edition wines and to give us an overall history and details regarding the grapes, procedures etc, that our amateur minds needed to absorb... my apologies to the other folks who attended this event, I was only speaking for myself and hubby.
We started off with the Chateau Musar Cuvee Blanc 2004. It's made with Obaideh grapes from vines aging from 50 - 75 years. It had the most lovely fresh green apple scent. This was served to accompany an antipasti platter of marinated olives, peppers, mushrooms, calamari rings and my favorite of all .... the creme crottin tartlets, which is a creamy goat's cheese in a tartlet shell. Didn't think the shells did it any credit tho, I just dug out the crottin and ate it on its own .... Mmmmm, heaven!
Oh yeah, the wine ..... beautifully complimented each other. Wish they'd served more of that. Personally, I'd have this wine with some fresh oysters / seafood and a cheese platter and not the very marinated, sour feta stuffed tomatos that dulled my tastebuds (couldn't even taste the feta) and changed the taste of the wine.
That probably contributed to my opinion of this next wine ....
The Chateau Musar Jeune Blanc 2009, an unoaked blend of Viognier, Vermentino and Chardonnay, also served with the same antipasti platter, didn't hit my pleasure points as much as the Cuvee did. But then, I'm biased towards the more fruity wines. I thought the acidity was a little sharp. (Tongue-buds still a little wonky, remember?)
The unoaked Chateau Musar Jeune Red 2009, a blend of Cinsault, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon was next and to compliment it was a Duck Confit Pizzette (where's the duck?) ... I thought the pizza was good even if I couldn't find any duck pieces in them and, yes, it went well with the wine. I felt the tannins were a little strong for me when drunk on its own but it mellowed some and went down easier when drunk with the food. I can imagine this with a good tomato-based pasta and maybe even some local curry dishes. Yessss ....!
The last and my favorite red for the night, the Chateau Musar Hochar Pere et Fils 2002, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan and a hint of Grenache. A lightly oaked red, with all the scents of dark berries you can think of. Lovely! This was paired with Sous Vide Shortrib Beef Tempura with a spiced dip and some pickled red onions. Also recommended to compliment the wine: game, poultry.
1. Château Musar Cuvée Blanc 2004
2. Château Musar Jeune Blanc 2009
(Paired with an antipasti platter of marinated olives, pepperone, mushrooms, tabbouleh, creme crottin mini tartlets and calamari rings)
3. Château Musar Jeune Rouge 2009
(Paired with a duck confit pizzette)
4. Château Musar Hochar Pere et Fils Red 2002
(Paired with sous vide shortribs beef tempura with ras-el-hanout spiced dip)
All in all, it was a good evening and we also had some light moments with the in-house French Sommelier poking fun and making jabs at the Lebanese wines ... which I think he'd already swirled, nosed and "tasted" a couple of bottles before the event even started. :D
Not surprising that I went home happy (and pretty "tanned") with 3 of my favorite bottles in the bag.
Food by Chinoz