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Chateau Musar Red 2004
- Great Domaines
- The Wine Advocate
all ratings out of 100 points.
"The 2004 Chateau Musar is an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault. This is a rather civilized, laid back Musar. The complicated aging process is best described by the winery: “The wines spent nine months in cement vats and then a year in French Nevers oak barrels and the final blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan rested for another nine months in vats before being bottled?“ The winery describes this as a once-in-a-decade vintage where a heat wave caused notable increases in sugar content in a short time. I sometimes find that is a dangerous description of vineyard conditions with many risks for a winery, but it seems to have turned out well. If you’re comparing, it adds two layers of depth to the 2007 Hochar, although it is quite elegant and graceful in its own right. Most importantly, it has more of an obvious backbone even though it is late-released. Its balance, combining the nice fruit, elegant mid-palate, persistent finish and backbone, gives it a tightly wound, precise and focused demeanor. The tannins are not completely integrated, but not overly hard. They provided some welcome grip and vibrancy and never overwhelmed the wine. In the long run, they should serve this wine in good stead. Overall, it is an exceptionally graceful, somewhat modern and restrained Musar, bright, with that silky texture I saw in the Hochar reviewed this issue, while adding those layers of concentration. The cherry on top is the intensity of fruit flavor – bursts of delicious and juicy fruit on the finish, admittedly nuanced by some of the gamey notes I see here so often. Call it raspberry flavored, though, because the fruit is delicious. The gamey notes were in fact moderate and, at least for my taste, not an issue. As this rather subtle Musar aired out, I liked it more and more. I’ve had Musars that were bigger, burlier, more rustic and more astringent. Here, the subtle start was unremarkable, but it gathered steam, showed remarkable finesse and then won me over. This will certainly do better with food." - Mark Squires, The Wine Advocate
Cinsault / Carignan / Cabernet Sauvignon
2012 - 2021
French Oak for 12 Months
Vineyards & vinification:
Mature and low-yielding bush vines with an average age of 40 years, growing in gravelly soils over limestone. Fermentation in concrete vats before racking into French oak.
The wines of Château Musar are unique expressions from a country with an ancient wine-making culture, as vines have been cultivated from Lebanon’s high altitude Bekaa Valley for over 6,000 years.
From around 4,500 BC, the sea-faring Phoenicians (ancestors of the modern Lebanese) distributed their wines and vines throughout the Mediterranean, travelling as far as Cadiz (and possibly beyond) in their robust cedar boats. Their resilience in the face of repeated invasion gave rise to the legend of ‘The Phoenix’. They also invented the alphabet to help keep records of their various transactions.
The ancient city of Baalbek in the northern Bekaa Valley, takes its name from the Phoenician fertility god, Baal. The Roman god Bacchus was in turn worshipped here and the temples built in his honour remain among the most perfectly preserved in the world.
The region’s wines are mentioned many times in the bible, with the first recorded evidence of wine transactions coming from Byblos (‘book’ in Greek, hence ‘Bible’) an historic fishing port north of Beirut. French in origin, the Hochar (pronounced Hoshar) family arrived in Lebanon in the 12th century, ‘Preux Chevaliers’ and have remained there ever since.