Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Serge Hochar Blows My Mind – Again!

…from the déjà vu département

Serge Hochar shares a story with sommelier Jason Huerta
When I first met Serge Hochar, he was making a quick run through the United States to promote the wines of his family’s Château Musar. It was the early 1980’s and he literally had to take his life in his own hands to get to the airport to leave Beirut, as Lebanon was in the midst of a war that would take the lives of countless souls. The stories he told me over lunch that day 25+ years ago, etched in my mind and fueled the fire in my belly to pursue a life of wine with passion and without fear.

And here we were again, a generation later, our skulls now colored grey, celebrating the wines of Musar and life with our younger peers.

Serge is like the Sardinian shepherd to me. He lives in a small world but a very large universe. And his universe is populated with interesting people, passionate subjects and spices and intrigue in a life of wine one can only dream of.

That said, his life hasn’t been easy. In fact, Serge and his family, the closest thing we have to the heirs to the throne of Bacchus, have had to struggle most of their lives. But Lebanon is a special place for wine. The Romans built a temple to the wine god in Baalbek, a town in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, known in ancient times as Heliopolis. So, those of us who are devotees of Bacchus have a fondness in our hearts for Lebanon and her wines.

 Through a Glass Brightly
I have a few pictures and when I have time to reflect I will have more to post on all of this.

The Chateau Musar wines that were shared at TexSom were indescribably wonderful. If you were there and shared those wines and moments, what did you think and feel?

Please share your thoughts in a comment...

 Musar  wines tasted  L to R - Reds '75,'89,'98,'03 - Whites- '69,''80,'90', '04

Mary Bueg of Pappas Brothers pouring the '75 - wine
older than her (and many of the people in the room)

Rajat Parr of RN74 shares a moment with Serge Hochar

Paul Greico of Terroir and Hearth mixes it up with Serge Hochar

The whites - L to R 1969,1980,1990,2004  - were life changing

The well-dressed crowd at TexSom toasting Serge Hochar

written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy


tasteofbeirut said...

Loved your intro to Serge Hochar and his life and life's creations, the Château Musar are part of Lebanon's heritage. Thanks Alfonso, hope you can make it to Lebanon some time soon and taste the wines at the temple of Bacchus in Baalbeck with a bunch of wine enthusiasts. How about it?

Alfonso Cevola said...

Thanks Joumana -

It is something I would love to do! We'll meet you there?

Do Bianchi said...

was so bummed to miss that tasting! now I'm doubly bummed! great post... great wines...

Drew said...

Alfonso great to hang out and thanks for writing such great things about Serge. Here is a link to the recap of my trip to visit him. If your readers would be interested http://drewhendricksms.com/2011/06/07/labor-omnia-vincit/

Alfonso Cevola said...

thanks Drew

folks here's a direct link, I highly recommend you all go visit this site

Drew's trip to Lebanon

Russ Kane said...

Serge presents the world's history of wine in every glass of his wine

Arbiter Bibendi said...

It was one of those moments where you stop taking notes, sit back, look around the room and thank God you're there with all those special people. The wines defied any type of logical description and the sense of being part of something special was palpable.

When I first tasted the '69 during the tasting pause, I took one sip and when he started talking again after the 3min break it was still going. It was incredible how the wines got younger as they got older. We should all live that way.

As Serge said, the wine ties me now to Lebanon but also to everyone else who was lucky enough to be there on Monday.

Rolando said...

I tasted the Hochar's wines years ago and I was fascinated of them. Last year I went in Milano to taste the '68, '78 and '98 Chateau Musar Blanc, and I was lucky to exchange some words with M. Hochar, a very nice and gentle man.

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