Much browner than expected - compared to the 1999 it looked at least 10 years older. This birthday treat started in muted style with some acetone and hints of clove and not much else. Within half an hour it opened out adding sweet and sour balsamic cherry and burnt orange, eastern spices, a whiff of bonfire and the usual glorious funk. Later still the citrussy fruit dulled gently and there was more smoke and a touch of candy sweetness (this probably all sounds an odd selection of flavours but it is so difficult to describe this wine in words...). In general this bottle was more acidic than I remember from previous bottles so marked down a point or two. Finishes long, suggesting plenty of future. You don't need food with this and in any case it deserves centre stage on the dining table. Totally unique. I love this mesmerising wine, and this vintage is my favourite after 1991.
19 Vintages of Musar Rouge; 1/25/2015-1/26/2015 (Clark Point House in Southwest Harbor, Maine): Color: Ruby core with minimal bricking and a clear rim. Smell: Vast with a depth as notes of forest floor, cement, clove, tobacco, old railroad ties, dried red fruits. Taste: Sweet notes of raspberries, cherry, clove, and mushrooms. Overall: Silky and sweet notes interchange with wild feral notes showing a side to Musar that I love. Med body, high acidity, med tannin; I've had a few cases of this wine and it rarely disappoints me; tonight is no exception. In honor of Bart Broadbent who made tasting the '84 Rouge possible I'll use the five * system. (****/*)
As perfect a Musar as I've ever had. Bright and spicy red fruit and a long lingering strawberry finish, with in between notes of spiced pumpkin latte, clove, fruit bread, and leather. Gorgeously at peak: Serge Hochar, here's to you!
Had at a dinner with friends. This wine showed very well tonight and was very true to the Musar's I have grown to love. Nose of black dried fruit, funk, well worn leather, hints of va, something kind of fruitcakeish going on. Palate of dried black cherry, little dried blueberry, high quality leather, barnyard and spice. Finish is nice and long with a nice mouthfeel.
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(Chateau Musar (Bekaa Valley)) It is five years since I broached one of these and today it looks just as mature as I described it then - but I think that is typical of Musar; these wines look mature earlier than you might expect, but then fade in terms of intensity of colour very slowly, over many years. The nose gives a big acetic blast at first, but then more complex aromatics come to the fore, very animally in style, especially with notes of warm and sweaty horsehair. And alongside this ball of fur there is sweetly baked fruit, notes of black olive and Germolene ointment, smoke and pepper. Quite intense and sweet in style, and this comes through on the palate too which has a layer of sweetly roasted meats, piles of flavour and a broad, peppered character. Lots of structure here still, raw tannins and a juicy-sour acidity which dominates the finish giving it a little balsamic note. Very long, and still needing a lot of time - another 5-10 years before this really settles down I think. The best showing yet for this wine.
(Château Musar Red) Elegant and perfumed nose with confected elements like candied figs and violets. Subtle, savory tones of sweat and bacon grease develop in the glass. Fuller in the mouth than the nose would indicate. Startlingly long finish. Terroir: Bekaa Valley
(Chateau Musar) Decanted for 2 hours at the restaurant. Medium red color with pale edges; lovely mature, rich, cherry and horseradish nose; tasty, tart cherry, horseradish, tangy, medium-plus finish (I poured this as a mystery wine, after letting it decant for nearly two hours. Guesses included older Chateauneuf du Pape and 2000 Clos des Papes. It even garnered two votes for WOTF.)
(Chateau Musar) A fairly deep burgundy-oxblood hue, fading to a pink-orange rim. Classic Musar nose; sweet strawberry and cherry fruit, overlaid with leather, sweetly marinated and grilled meat, mushrooms and plenty of ethyl acetate Musar character. Dripping with ripe, sweet fruits on the palate, with a citrus-peel, cinnamon and coffee-tinged character, and a volatile finish, the palate is full-bodied with a firm structure and plenty of substance. This is a Musar set for the long haul. Very good indeed.
(Chateau Musar) This is a fascinating example of how the memory can deceive. I have tasted both the 1995 and the 1996 before, but never together. Head-to-head the 1995 clearly takes it. This has a touch more depth of colour in the glass. Classic, full-blown, in your face Musar on the nose, with piles of volatile acids resembling a blend of polystyrene cement and acetone - this is for Musar-lovers only - although with time in the glass the intensity of aroma does lessen. Alongside are some roasted fruits, with touches of orange peel and cinnamon. Great substance on the palate, good extract, plenty of body and texture. Roast fruits and game, still with a ripe tannic shroud that will fall away soon. Balanced, but firm. Needs three to four years in the cellar but will then drink for a decade or more.
(Chateau Musar) This wine has a good rich colour. Although it's not quite as deep and eye-catching as the 1994, it looks very good nevertheless. The nose is full of leather and spice, with a slightly tarry-edged blackberry fruit, and the hallmark Musar volatile acidity. Despite these classic aromas the palate still has a few surprises, with strong animalistic flavours, with roasted herbs and meat, together with some style and elegance coming from the fruit. This is great stuff - in fact, delicious!
(Chateau Musar) A deeply coloured wine, although not as dense as the 1994. Trademark volatile acidity is quite prominent on the nose, together with plenty of fruit. A nicely structured palate, with a good level of spicy black fruit and well integrated tannins which stand up well to the still prominent acidity. This has more volatile acidity than the 1994, but it is still a lovely Musar for those that follow this producer.
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