Chateau Musar, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2002.
Cabernet sauvignon, cinsault and carignan, 14% abv, natural cork closure; Wine Society and others, was £20 on release and purchase, but after cellaring, more like £25 now. I thought it worth including under the 10to20 group, as it shows how the wines develop. If you like the style, just invest in 6 bottles a year, cellar or any cool space, and see for yourself, without the higher prices of earlier vintages.
These wines are released 7 years after vintage. They benefit from further ageing to 10 or 15 years after vintage
WSET style tasting note
Appearance – deep intensity ruby, showing distinct tears.
Nose – clean on the nose, pronounced intensity, still developing, with a note of nail varnish first, a signature note of volatile acidity (VA) from Musar, which lifts the red fruit note, leading to seemingly sweet stewed red fruit, black cherry, figgy, a savoury spicy black peppery note, with hints of sage and curry plant.
Palate – a dry wine, medium (+) acidity, smooth textured fully integrated medium (-) tannins, high alcohol – feels more than the declared 14%, full-bodied, with flavours of VA, stewed red fruits, black cherry and prune, with a long length.
Quality – these are wines with an interesting character. In perfect balance, this is a food wine, some might consider it a waste with curry – but try it with a good one – there is a subtle sympathetic curry note in the wine. This vintage needed little decanting time, just bring it to room temperature over 24 hours; then it’s nice to experience the in-glass aroma evolution – really interesting.