2002 Chateau Musar – This is the first wine from Lebanon I have ever seen, much less tasted. I knew they made wine there and I have read some articles about their wines so I was quite excited when I received the Chateau Musar. The friend who gave me this wine isn’t real knowledgable about wine but knew enough to know I would appreciate the gift. He told me a little about the wine, what the wine shop had told him, and then I turned to Google. The story of Chateau Musar is very interesting and rather than repeat it here you should read about it on their web site. Also check out Quaffable – Extraordinary Wine for Ordinary People where Charles Saunders wrote a great article about the 2003 Chateau Musar Hochar, their single vineyard wine. There is also an article on WineAnorak that has tasting notes from many older vintages.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. What I had read said it would be a distinctive wine and there were large variations year to year and even between bottles of the same year.
There were eight of us having dinner together when we tasted the wine. The color was a light garnet, like an older Pinot Noir. It had a light nose with plums and dried fruit. In the mouth there were dried fruit flavors, a burst of spice and some black pepper. Nancy felt there was some volatile acidity or maybe alcohol showing, although the wine is only 13.5 alc. There were light to moderate tannins and good acidity. The finish was on the short side. The meal was Hachis Parmentier, (beef, sausage and potatoes) and the wine paired well. The wine is certainly distinctive and I’ll have to try some other years and the Hochar which sound even more distinctive than this wine.