TASTED DURING LOCKDOWN!
3/10/2020 -Still under restrictions!
Chateau Musar 2003
4th July 2020 (Phase 2 of easing of lockdown restrictions!)
Chateau Musar 1991
Drank with a medium rare Aberdeen Angus sirloin with chimichurri sauce followed by Manchego and Iberico cheeses.
12th June 2020
Chateau Musar 1983
Scotland was in phase 1 of easing of lockdown and our favourite local Turkish restaurant Rendezvous at Nargile started to do takeaways which seemed like a great excuse to open a bottle of 1983 Chateau Musar!
29th April 2020
Chateau Musar 1985
I was one of around 1200 people who tuned in to a virtual Wine Society tasting hosted by Gaston Hochar. It's thought that around 600 bottles of Chateau Musar were opened that evening. We opened this bottle of 1985 to enjoy with his presentation. 1985 was one of the smallest vintages of the 1980's so there isn't too much of it around.
12th April 2020
Chateau Musar 1987
Chose this to enjoy with our Easter Sunday roast lamb, lovely match!
TASTING MARCH 2020
Once again, it was a pleasure to welcome Elliot O'Mara from Chateau Musar UK to Aberdeen for our Chateau Musar Masterclass. Elliot gave tasters a great insight in to this iconic Lebanese producer as we tasted through a range of vintages defined by the climate of the year and the stage of maturity.
These are my tasting notes from 12th March 2020
1. Chateau Musar ‘Hochar’ 2015, 13.5%
Four years in the making, Hochar Père et Fils Red is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, from a single vineyard near the Bekaa Valley village of Aana, characterised by deep soils over limestone.
-Dark cherry, berry, spice and raspberry
- Full bodied, fresh and lively, raisin, spice, dark fruit, soft, smooth tannins
Equal blend of Cinsault, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon
Equal blend of Cinsault, Carignan and Cabernet Sauvignon from a very hot summer which lead to lower yield.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan
Equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan.
TASTING MARCH 2018
(From my feature in the Press and Journal on 14th April 2018)
I’ve mentioned the iconic Lebanese producer Chateau Musar in this column before and I recently hosted a vertical tasting masterclass of their wines alongside Elliot O’Mara from Chateau Musar UK who gave us a great insight into the past and present of the producer. We delved into a back catalogue of vintages as far back as 1969 and as usual the ever evolving wines impressed and delighted a room full of Chateau Musar fans.
It is a wine capable of long aging and each taster had their personal favourite vintages. For me the 1997 with intense fruit, cedar, wood smoke and spice aromas, full body, structure, dark berries and a lingering resilience lifted by a fresh acidity was a superstar. Then the 2000 was complex - spicy, and smooth and long lasting and what about the warm spices and fig and raisin characters of the structured 2006 – decisions, decisions….
Elliot also treated us to the recently released Chateau Musar 2011, a typical third of each blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan. It’s perfumed with hints of mint and forward raspberry and blueberry. Full and structured with spice and blueberry notes and tuned acidity, I can’t wait to see how this evolves in 10, 20 and even 30 years’ time. Available from independents such as Wine Raks in Aberdeen and Raeburn Fine Wines in Edinburgh
TASTING SEPTEMBER 2010
What a fantastic night with a passionate and information packed presentation from Ralph Hochar. It’s so difficult to pick a favourite as each wine has a time, a place and a food where it will shine. If you push me – perhaps the 1982 which seems so youthful still, but ask me again tomorrow and it could be the 1986!
Hopefully my notes will guide you to your desert island Chateau Musar....
Forward and potent raspberry crumble, fig and warm spice aromas. Full bodied with liquorice, rich fruit cake, clove and cinnamon flavours. Good tannic structure, fresh acidity, very well balanced with a long life ahead of it. From a hot year hence a powerful vintage.
Sweet perfumed with spices- cinnamon and clove, a mix of raisin and blueberry. Medium- full bodied with fig and dried fruit, soft and well rounded with forward juicy flavours. Elegant and fragrant, an earlier drinking style than the 2000, higher % than usual of cinsault.
Open with fresh red berries and earthy undertones. Rich fruit cake. Med- full bodied, a more savoury style with oak to the back. Noticeable acidity and a fresh mix of berries and dark chocolate. A now hard to find vintage
Rich with fruit and nut cake, meat, leather, Indian spices, tobacco, cigar box. Mid weight and subtle. Well balanced, rich with a smooth finish.
Intense, earthy, warmed dried fruit compote, spicy. Fresh acidity. Intense flavour with ripe tannins and lingering,soft finish
Powerful, dried fruit, minerality, warm Christmas spices and very ripe dark dark berries, marzipan. In the mouth, warm, well balanced, smooth with flavours as per nose. A drought year, hot summer has produced a classic, mellow style.
Aromatic and spiced, hints mint and coffee, fresh tobacco, enticing. Full bodied, rich and fresh ripe red fruit, pepper hints and totaly intergrated tannin. Well balanced, silky and lingering with plenty of life left.
Top notes of fig and Christmas spices, earthy, rhubarb notes, flinty.
Powerful, floral with baked fruit. Very rich almost chewy texture, dark chocolate full bodied, elegant structure. Well balanced with fresh acidity.
Very intense, savoury maturity. Full bodied, smooth texture, hints of truffles, black olives and pepper. Great balance of dried fruits and acidity. Still can mature on!
Savoury, almond nutty, waxy lemon.
Dry and full bodied with marzipan and citrus, complex and intriguing.
Golden, honeyed with notes sweet almond, spice and jasmine. Rich, dry, honey and apricot, soft acidity, well balanced and complex.