2004 Château Musar Rouge Bekaa Valley
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2004 Chateau Musar is an equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault. This is a rather civilized, laid back Musar... 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. Drink now-2021.
A succulent red, with red currant, dark cherry and dried raspberry flavors that are well-spiced. Sandalwood and cream accents linger on the rich and silky finish, revealing notes of hot stone. Drink now. (Web-2013)
Though Middle Eastern wine is something of a novelty in the U.S., wine is nothing new to this area; the cultivation of the vine goes back to the Phoenicians who did a brisk business trading their wares along the Mediterranean Sea ports, introducing viniculture into many parts of southern Europe. Perhaps the oldest running wine concern in the region, Chateau Musar has been making fine wine 15 miles north of Beirut since 1930! These are reds of great character and subtlety, decidedly Old World in style. The grapes are hand-picked as the sun rises across the Bekaa valley and are then swiftly transferred to the cellar in Ghazir where fermentation takes place followed by maceration lasting 2 to 4 weeks. During the first year the wine is racked into Bordeaux type barrels made from Nevers oak and where it matures from 12 to 15 months.