Chateau Musar, Rose, Wine of Lebanon, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2004.
On red Chateau Musar
These wines (whites too) are released 7 years after vintage. They can benefit from further ageing of 10-15 years after vintage
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, these aromas become less dominant and crushed rose petals start to emerge, with hints of over-ripe red cherry, leather, spice and savoury notes.
* 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.
This wine: lot no. L7.176-02, a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cinsault and carignan, coated natural cork closure, 14% abv, widely available, ~£20 (01/13), ~£25+ now.
Last tasted 17/02/13.
Consumer tasting note: garnet hued, well-developed, with a rich profile of ripe red slightly confected berries, cumin and a touch of vanilla, dried herbs, liquorice and prune; medium-full bodied, with a mouthful of spicy red berries, red currant jelly, prune and sweet tobacco. Finishes long. Decant for 2 hours+, sampling from 1 hour.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity garnet, showing tears (and a tiny amount of fine sediment).
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of rich red cherry then red plum jam, toast edged with a hint of nail varnish, cumin, hint of vanilla, red glace cherry edged with cherry liqueur, wet prune and sweet tobacco, hints of black liquorice and smoke, old polished wood, hint of bees-wax, hints of dried herbs like herbes de provence.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe medium tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, a velvety texture and sense of sweetness in mid-palate, with flavours of spicy dried red cherry, red currant jelly, toast, spice, wet prune, sweet tobacco. A long length, with a clean dried red berry and red berry conserve, edged with toast finish, and a light grip.
Quality: very good, perfectly balanced fresh acidity and ripe tannins with alcohol, altogether harmonious; decent intensity throughout, with a similar concentration; heading for fully developed, showing a moderate to high complexity, with evidence of time in wood and bottle, with spicy, smoky notes, and rich conserves, prune and tobacco, respectively, along with low-key VA which adds another dimension. Finishes long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing over say 2-3 years and will then keep a further 2-3 years – a sound structure and balance, good concentration, developing complexity and a solid length.