Gaston Hochar 1996 Chateau Musar Bekaa Valley (Lebanon) Blanc ($30 in 2005)
Varieties: Merwah and Obaideh.
Clear, bright apricot color, no hint of haze or sediment. It looks a bit oxidative, and nutlike scents add to the impression, but its delicate, subtle scents of hazelnuts and toasted pecans, embraced in a slow dance with pears and dates. Discreet pecan flavors show, too, in the dry, appropriately acidic flavor, mouth-watering and food-friendly. Very unusual wine, demonstrating the conventional wisdom that Musar whites are best left for many years past the age at which you'd expect to consume them. I've had this very wine and vintage in its youth, and frankly, at that point I didn't quite get what all the yelling was about. Now I do. U.S. importer: Broadbent Selections Inc., San Francisco. (June 9, 2012)
Good with spicy asparagus and tofu stir-fry with Guilin chili sauce; even better with Sapori d'Italia Caciotta alle Noci, made-in-Kentucky Tuscan-style walnut goat cheese.