Online Fine Wine Tasting: Chateau Musar Vertical

Online Fine Wine Tasting: Chateau Musar Vertical

The Lafite of Lebanon: Chateau Musar Vertical 1997-2005 with Ralph Hochar and Elliot O'Mara



Join us for an incredibly special single-evening fine wine tasting Chateau Musar Vertical 1997-2005 on Thursday 17th September 2020 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.

Lebanon was one of the first wine producing regions in history, so the Bekaa Valley can trace back its wine production for thousands of years. Today there are still many important vineyards in Lebanon, but without doubt Chateau Musar is the most well-known of these. On this evening we will taste six stunning vintages of the famous Chateau Musar spanning two decades 1997 to 2005. The tasting will be co-presented by Musar family member Ralph Hochar and UK sales director Elliot O’Mara and hosted by Jimmy Smith. We are launching this evening in combination of a superb new book released to mark the 90th anniversary of the estate ‘Chateau Musar, the Story of a Wine Icon’ with the Académie du Vin Library – a link will shortly become available to buy the book in advance.

Chateau Musar

Chateau Musar was established in 1930 by Gaston Hochar at the tender age of 20. His inspiration was both the 6,000-year winemaking history of Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley and also his time in Bordeaux – a connection which was strengthened during the Second World War when he befriended Major Ronald Barton of Château Langoa-Barton while he was stationed in Lebanon. In 1959 he graciously stepped aside for his two eager sons Serge and Ronald. Today it is overseen by the third generation: like their father and uncle, Serge’s eldest son Gaston now manages the day-to-day operation of the winery whereas his younger son Marc helps to control the commercial aspects. Ronald’s son Ralph also works in Musar’s UK office, and his daughter Elsa has immortalised the winery and her family’s rich history in a documentary. The wonderful book is superb at documenting this extensive history.

The Musar property is located in the southern end of Bekaa Valley, around 30km north of Beirut. Here the altitude and shelter from surrounding mountains provide excellent growing conditions; the Bekaa valley is almost completely disease and frost free with long mild summers and just enough rain in the winter. The wide range of gravelly soils over limestone is also ideal for viticulture. The red grapes – cabernet sauvignon, cinsault and carignan – are grown on mature, low-yielding vines for extra concentration, whereas the white grapes are indigenous varieties are better suited to higher altitude - some are grown as high as 1500m above sea level. Picking is done by hand in the cool mornings to preserve freshness, and all of Musar’s wines are produced with minimum intervention. Wines are made with the minimum of sulphur and are not fined or filtered.

Chateau Musar has been described by many as one of the great wines of the world, and it is certainly eccentric and intriguing in style. The third generation continues to build on Serge Hochar’s artistic craftsmanship. He has been quoted as saying “I once produced a wine that was technically perfect but it lacked the charms of imperfection”, and the ultimate aim is still to make Musar in the most natural and authentic way, but with a touch of fascinating volatility.

Tasting Date: Thursday 17th September 2020 at 7:00pm (the tasting will last approximately 2 hours)


For this special two-hour tasting, an exclusive tasting kit is available which includes a 75ml tasting sample of each wine, as well as tasting mat, tasting note paper and pen. The total cost for this tasting experience including this kit is £85.

  • To reserve your place on this tasting, there is a £10 registration fee.
  • Once you have registered to attend this tasting, a member of the West London Wine School team will email you a link to purchase the supplemental tasting kit. The standalone kit price is £85, however your £10 course registration fee is 100% redeemable against this before final purchase.
  • Tasting kits will be sent out 1 week prior to this tasting. 

Tasting Kit: What's Included:

  • 75ml tasting sample of each wine (6 in total) contained in a sterilised glass bottle and preserved with an inert gas (designed specifically for wine preservation)
  • Tasting mat
  • Tasting note sheet
  • West London Wine School pen

PLEASE NOTE: As this is a virtual tasting, only one seat needs to be booked per household UNLESS individuals will be logging into the tasting series with different computers/tablets. Additional tasting kits can be purchased for £85 each if additional wines are required per household. Due to the exclusivity of these wines, supplemental full bottle tasting cases are not available for purchase. 


Ralph Hochar, Elliot O'Mara and West London Wine School Founder and Chief Tutor Jimmy Smith will host this exclusive online tasting live at 7:00pm on Thursday 17th September 2020. This single-evening tasting will be approximately 2 hours in length. 

Unable to commit on the evening? No problem! Anyone registered for this tasting will gain access to the video recording of the live event, so you can always revisit the presentation at anytime in the future - whether its because you missed participating in the live evening or if you want to revisit the presentation at a later date.

Chateau Musar Wines Included in Tasting Kit (75ml samples of each):

  • Chateau Musar 1997 white – 17 points Bartholomew Broadbent
  • Chateau Musar 1997 red – 18 points Bartholomew Broadbent
  • Chateau Musar 1998 red – 18.5 points Jancis Robinson ‘one of the favourite wines of the collection’
  • Chateau Musar 2000 red - 18 points Bartholomew Broadbent ‘a lioness of a wine’
  • Chateau Musar 2003 red – 18.5 points Jancis Robinson ‘long and dramatically big, but with good freshness on the finish’
  • Chateau Musar 2005 red – 17.5 points Steven Spurrier ‘it is powerful, but this wine is still young, a baby

Places remaining: 2

Course Date/Time: Thu 17th Sep 2020 at 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Duration: 2 hours





Event Price: £10.00







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