Chateau Musar Lebanon 2003

Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2003.

Cabernet sauvignon, cinsault and carignan, 14% abv, natural cork closure; Wine Society and others, just about £20 now.

These wines are released 7 years after vintage.  They  benefit from further ageing to 10 or 15 years after vintage

On opening – typical entry aromas on this wine are *volatile acidity or VA (think of acetone, nail varnish ) and **brettanomyces, one of the yeasts present during vinification (think farmyard) – this is the Musar style.  With a bit of airing, read several hours decanted into a big jug, these aromas become less dominant and crushed rose petals start to emerge, with hints of over-ripe red cherry, leather, spice and savoury notes.

Try rebottling after decanting, pump the air out, and taste on day 2 – black currant notes start to emerge … these wines are so complex.

* Volatile acidity arises from oxidation of alcohols, producing acetic acid, in Musar this is allowed to such a degree that it rises above the sensory threshold, as part of the character of the wine.

** Brettanomyces or brett, is allowed to infect the wine to detectable levels as part of the wine’s profile.

WSET style tasting note
Appearance – medium intensity ruby, raspberry juice rim, showing distinct tears.

Nose – clean on the nose, medium (+) intensity, well developed, with aromas of spice, sweet red cherries, a savoury note with just a hint of farmyard and VA.

Palate – a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, smooth fine textured medium (-) tannins, high alcohol, medium bodied, medium (+) intensity, with flavours of prune, spice, leather, a hint of liquorice, with a medium (+) length and clean finish.

Quality – these are wines with an interesting character, they are well balanced and complex, but do need several hours decanting for the aromas and flavours to emerge, after a minimum of 7 years in bottle.

About citbp

I am interested in everything about wine, from site selection to tasting.
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