It would be a crime for me not to write about Chateau Musar. Many times my friends who know I love wine will ask me to recommend a wine or what my favorite wine is and I always try to find out what they like or if its about my favorite wine I tell them it depends on the time of the year and the meal I’m eating, but when forced to select a single wine I always say “Chateau Musar“. To which the answer is always a dumbfounded look and a reply “Chateau what”?
Located at 1000 meters altitude in the fertile plain of Bekaa (Lebanon), the vineyard of Chateau Musar is composed of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault. A red Chateau Musar is usually characterized by its complexity and plenitude, the result of long aging (7 years) prior to release. Powerful and balanced, this red wine achieves full potential after 15 years.
Musar s a very complex wine. Many wont like Musar at first as its not like the fruity wines of Spain or Australia or even California. It has very old world tastes. I tell people you can smell and taste the smoky earth from Bekaa Vally from the many years of battles between Israel and Lebanon. There are many interesting stories of how the wine was stored away during the war.
Musar has a very spicy nose and complexity around the aroma. Very earthy tones in the smell of the wine as well as the taste. Musar is earthy and spicy with a bit of bitter tang and lots of tannins. One can compare Musar to the very stinky cheeses of France and England. If you love those cheeses you will love Musar. If you love the simple provolone and think a sharp cheddar is a strong cheese you may get offended by Musar.
I own about 6-7 bottles of this wine from 1995 to 1999. The 95 would knock your socks off. They say that 1991 and the 1979 are the premier years for this wine. Unfortunately I have never had the chance to try them