Chateau Musar, Wine of Lebanon, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, 2005
This wine: lot No. L8.338-03 (on back label), a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cinsault and carignan, coated natural cork closure, 14% abv, Waitrose offer, £22 (09/18)
Consumer tasting note: typical Musar with its signature understated note of nail varnish and just a touch of funky brett, then dominated by aromas of red berries and fruit – dried, stewed and jam; medium-full bodied, a sense of sweetness in mid-palate, perfectly balanced, with a rich though simpler palate, with added black notes – black berry, black currant and black boiled sweets. Finishes soundly long.
Drink now – RTD, but will continue to develop over 3-5 years, and keep longer – Wait. No real need to decant, though there is sediment, so allow to settle upright and pour sensitively.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, medium intensity ruby, showing tears [1/8 teaspoon of fine sediment].
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, opening slightly high-toned (VA), with a touch of funk , then stewed red cherry, spicy, dark red plum jam, dried herbs, dried cranberry, a rich floral tea-rose like note, stewed red plums, a hint of nuttiness, after a little time low-key toast with a lactic edge, red liquorice, defrosted strawberry, waxy, a hint of cedar, a hint of aged steak fat.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe fine-grained medium tannins, medium (+) alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture with a sense of sweetness in mid-palate, with flavours of red cherry jam, stewed red plum, black cherry edged with more fragrant black berry, black boiled sweets, blackcurrant, a hint of funk. A long length (>30 s), with a clean finish of dried and cooked red berries.
Quality: very good, perfectly balanced fresh(ish) acidity and fine-grained moderate tannins with alcohol, altogether harmonious with the strong flavour intensity and similar concentration, and absolutely typical of Chateau Musar; showing a strong but not outstanding complexity with evidence of time in wood (cedar, spice, toast) and bottle (cedar, cooked fruit, dried herbs, meat, nuts), follows into a sound long length.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing, over say 3-5 years – an instantly recognisable wine with its signature VA and sensory profile, knowing this, with its ruby hue, and strength of character, suggests further beneficial ageing and keeping beyond, developing notes of eg cedar, leather, tobacco.
- Breattanomyces [online] accessed 24/11/18.