CHATEAU MUSAR (1997-2003)

Offered APR 26th, 2017

Chateau Musar was founded in 1930 by Gaston Hochar. In 1959, after studying oenology at the University of Bordeaux, his son Serge became winemaker. The civil war that tore Lebanon apart from 1975 to 1990 did not defeat Chateau Musar; Serge refused to abandon the wine, and lost only the 1976 and 1984 vintages to the war. Owing to his inspiring determination and grand passion for his wines, Serge received the inaugural “Man of the Year Award” from Decanter magazine in 1984. Recognition from Michael Broadbent, at the 1979 Bristol Wine Fair, threw Musar into the international spotlight and helped create a cult-like following. Chateau Musar is one of the most written-about and discussed wines in the world today. – Michael Broadbent

Chateau Musar 1997
Pack Size: OCB (12), 2 cases available, $720 per twelve-bottle case

17+ points Chris Kissack: “A really vibrant, reflective character in the glass, and a fairly typical Musar nose of rather furry fruit, exotic spices leather and a streak of volatile acidity. Rich with plenty of substance on the palate, rather nicely integrated though with well rounded edges. Deeply flavoured, creamy-oily character, and without doubt it has the longevity that Musar is capable of. Enjoy now and over the next decade or two.”

Chateau Musar 1998
Pack Size: OCB (12), 2 cases available, $720 per twelve-bottle cas

16+ points Chris Kissack: “Less dense than the 1999. Some good fruit on the nose, a classic style, but with less obvious spice. Moderate concentration on the palate, showing leather and carraway spice. This does not have the impact of the 1999. Good; will improve in the cellar.”

Chateau Musar 1999
Pack Size: OCB (6), 4 cases available, $330 per six-bottle case

17+ points Chris Kissack: “Very typical Musar hue, rich and red but with a little bricking. The nose starts off very volatile, with plenty of animally farmyard, then more appealing character, notes of leather, baked black fruits and cinnamon. The palate is soft at first, then there is more substance and grip, with plenty of spice, tannin and texture. This is rich, mouthfilling and structured, and although delicious now – after a couple of hours in a decanter – this will be fine drinking over the next 10-20 years. Classic Musar for Musar fans.”

Chateau Musar 2000
Pack Size: OCB (6), 4 cases available, $330 per six-bottle case

17.5+ points Chris Kissack: “A darkly coloured wine here, with some maturing tones – no surprise for Musar – which are giving it a lovely, fine, claretty hue. The nose is just lovely, very typical, with elements of spiced fruit and leather, but at the same time light-footed and ethereal, not a hint of cooked or stewed fruit anywhere. Certainly high-toned on the nose, but that seems very appropriate. It has freshness on the palate, with a little stony element providing some evidence of this. Plenty of substance on the palate, velvety texture supported by a wealth of tannin and acidity, these elements coming through to the finish, In this respect, good length. Lovely fruit, with nuances of orange peel, cloves and pepper. Delicious wine, and a real success for the Hochars.”

Chateau Musar 2003
Pack Size: OCB (6), 4 cases available, $270 per six-bottle case

17+ points Chris Kissack: “This is far younger than I would usually approach any vintage of Chateau Musar, nevertheless it does show undeniable Musar character even at this early juncture. It has a good depth of colour although it isn’t an intensely dark Musar. On the nose it is very true to form, showing deliciously sweet fruit nuanced with cloves, with a dried and spicy character. Typical Musar on the palate although with lots of youthful exuberance, very sappy and substantial too, richly imbued with structure. It is rather reticent in some respects, quite hard, withdrawn and peppery-spicy here, but these awkward elements of adolescence will fade with time. And then it should be very good.”

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