"The very generous line up of Chateau Musar at Frankly wines. The wines ranged from 2001 all the way back to 1972!"

Lebanon’s Chateau Musar is one of the worlds most unique and memorable wines.  It is certainly the most (in)famous wine from the middle east and it has been enchanting wine lovers for decades.  When people try Musar they will certainly always remember it for it’s uniqueness and it has definitely become one of my all time favorite wines.  It is a very changeable wine which always surprises and inspires!  Frankly Wines in NYC’s Tribeca neighborhood is the leading Musar specialist in the area and it was the setting for the Musar tasting on November 8th, 2010.  Many folks showed up specifically to try these magical wines, but others just popping in for a bottle were greeted with chance opportunity.

Located in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley at an altitude of over 3000 feet, the vineyards of Chateau Musar are home to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, and Carignan.  It is almost like some mythical combination of Bordeaux and Rhone?  Though the red wines of Musar have there own totally distinct personality completely different from the wines of those areas.  They are never more than translucent garnet and always rely on depth and complexity over power.  As for the whites from Musar they are made from from a blend of Obeideh and Merwah, which are native to the Bekaa Valley and Mount Lebanon.  They produce very concentrated wines of depth and longevity.  I find them similar to the aged whites from Lopez Heredia or perhaps the Jura.  As interesting as the reds are from Chateau Musar, the whites are even more singular.  Another interesting thing about Musar is that the new wines arriving to the market are usually about nine years old, so 2001 is the current release for both red and white wines.  But Musar also holds back large stocks of older vintages and releases them as well periodically.  This can provide for quite an experience and often at a fairly decent price.  All the wines of Musar are prized for their ability to age!

"Christy Frankly of Frankly Wines pouring some Musar to one lucky guest!"

Chateau Musar Tasting Notes:

ROUGE (Red):

2001 Chateau Musar – $44.99

Light garnet in color.  Slightly cloudy.  Notes of candied cherries and sandalwood.  Very delicious even now.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

2000 Chateau Musar – $44.99

There is a slightly metallic nose mixing with sour cherries and a bit of funky earth.  The mouth feel is fairly round and creamy.  Medium garnet in color.  RECOMMENDED

1998 Chateau Musar – $49.99

Funky metallic nose is there again mixing with light sour cherry notes.  Medium bodied and medium garnet.  RECOMMENDED

1997 Chateau Musar – $49.99

Opens with cherries and fresh cracked black pepper.  It is bright and zippy with a great round mouth feel and typical Musar medium garnet color.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

1994 Chateau Musar – $56.99

The 1994 represents the highest quality to value for me.  I have had this wine on a previous occasion and loved it.  There are rich candied cherry notes mixed with mushroom and metallic aromas.  I love the concentration on the 1994. MUST BUY – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

1993 Chateau Musar – $114.99

Even a bit more charged up and concentrated than the 1994, there are elements of rich burnt caramel, candied cherry, cedar, and earthy mushroom.  Great stuff.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

1991 Chateau Musar – $129.99

There is a great mix of cranberry, mint, sweet cherries, and brandy.  Medium garnet in color but slightly cloudy.  Nice.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

1990 Chateau Musar – $168.99

Some light browning on the edges, but still a light garnet in color.  This one seemed the oldest of the wines.  There is a little bit of funky laundry here mixing with sour cherries.  Finishes is also a bit underwhelming.  Maybe a slightly off bottle? RECOMMENDED

1972 Chateau Musar – $299.99

Surprise!  This 38 year old is amazingly youthful.  It is fresh garnet in color with caramel and mushroom mixing with notes of figs, dates, and earth.  Sublime stuff.  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

BLANC (White):

2001 Chateau Musar – $45.99

The reds may be the main event, but the Musar whites can certainly hold their own.  On the nose the 2001 seemed to hold back a bit with a sort of nutty kerosene play, but in the mouth the wine is very rich with a decidedly butter scotch candy flavor.  The color is a very intense buttered yellow as well.  This would be awesome with nutty cheeses or lobster.  Bought a bottle of this for sure!  MUST BUY – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

1991 Chateau Musar – $169.99

The nose is big, and interesting with a very strong nutty caramel meets marshmallow dynamic.  It is almost brandy brown in color and the finish could use a bit more as it goes to sour caramel.  But the nose is worth the price of admission.  RECOMMENDED

"I thought the Lebanese flag was a nice touch to the Musar tasting."