The Noble Savage, A Legend: 1988 Chateau Musar

Posted by Joe Salamone

Chateau Musar’s 1988 vintage is a legend around Crush. It’s one of Musar's all-time greats.

It’s simply a spectacular vintage from one of the world’s most singular estates.

Many years ago, a couple of us brought a bottle of '88 to a dinner with an impressive lineup of geeky wines, 1990 Valentini Montepulciano, 1986 Tempier Tourtine and Migoua, an old Pepe Montepulciano, and a couple of other wines. The Musar stole the show in such a profound way that I can remember receiving orders for the wine from people on their cab rides home.

Today, we’re thrilled to offer Musar’s 1988 for $194.95 per bottle.

Musar's particular calling card is how it combines wildness with an undeniably aristocratic air. This combination of an earthy and gamey profile with a sense of nobility makes Musar profoundly compelling.

The 1988 takes this "noble savage" signature to its pinnacle. There's certainly an untamed quality to the wine, but what really strikes you is its mysterious, never-ending complexity and overall gracefulness. The wine is defined by its lift and haunting nuance.

Chateau Musar, located in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, was founded in 1930 by Gaston Hochar when he was just 20 years old. Gaston immediately set the estate on the path of quality. His son, Serge, studied in Bordeaux with famed enologist Émile Peynaud and took over for his father in 1959.

Serge managed to preserve the vineyards throughout Lebanon's civil war. He only missed two vintages, 1976 and 1984 (he produced a tiny amount for personal use in both), due to the fighting. Serge brought the wines international renown. By 1977, he'd discovered what he thought was the ideal blend - Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, and Cinsault. He traveled the world tirelessly promoting the wines. One of his big breaks came at the 1979 Bristol wine fair when Michael Broadbent named the 1967 Musar the discovery of the fair, awarding it top prize and featuring the wine in Decanter magazine. Broadbent, who sadly passed away on March 17th, was one of the keenest wine minds of his generation.

There's much more to be said than room allows, so I encourage you to check out Levi Dalton's I'll Drink to That! interview with Serge. The interview occurred shortly before Serge passed away at the end of 2014.

This is the first time we've had the opportunity to offer this legendary vintage of Musar to a fairly wide audience. Unsurprisingly, our parcel is small, and we expect a quick sellout. Give us your ideal order, and we’ll try our best.

To order, email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

1988 Chateau Musar

Special Bottle Price: $194.95