Chateau Musar was a must!

Mar 10th, 2014 Jayne Pearce Consume & Educate

Chateau Musar is testament to a living legacy of wine-growing that has lasted 6,000 years in modern day Lebanon. At 3,000 ft above sea level in the Lebanese Beqaa Valley, Chateau Musar is located about 15 miles North of Beirut and, itself, has been in operation since 1930. Amazingly, the winery only missed one vintage (1976) during the 15 year civil war that ravaged the country between 1975 and 1990.


The red which the winery is known for is said to be Bordeaux in style and character although this can vary enormously from vintage to vintage. With the exception of the Cabernet that dominates, the grape varietals are more Southern Rhone and include Cinsault, Grenache, Carignon and Mourvèdre. Musar was using the organic approach before the word was coined, something that winemaker Serge Hocher harnesses into the style and describes the wine as “unique.” 

I have tasted Musar vintages before and it is true that every vintage has a style of its own. To embrace this creativity I had to accept any whiff of oxidation as a feature and not a flaw.

My 1 minute Quick Sip Videos and tasting notes apply a Show-Sniff-Sip tasting method to help breakdown and categorize what you night be getting. I recommend my Seasoned Seasonal lamb recipe to go with the fuller flavor of this glorious red. This is what I found for the 2005 Chateau Musar:

Chateau Musar Tasting Note

I opened and decanted the bottle about an hour before the accompanying meal to allow it to breathe. Chateau Musar only releases the wines after seven years of bottle age. The 2005 vintage encountered an unusually high amount of rain which helped to refresh the acidity and keep the sugar levels down.



No cloud but some slight sediment which was expected after several years in bottle.

Strength and Color;

A slightly rusty ruby of medium intensity and a watery rim.

Other Stuff;

The legs were strong suggesting relatively high alcohol.



I was ready to sniff out any oxidation but there wasn’t any that I could tell which is good or contrary to the style, depending on how you look at it.


I was getting a pronounced intensity of….



Aroma Style;

plum but with a lot of soil thrown into the mix and a hint of cinnamon.



Definitely dry


A lot of acidity in this wine which helped to keep it youthful BUT couldn’t help noticing this higher acidity was slightly unbalanced against the tannins and fruit.

Tannic grip;

The tannins are there but soft. I’m not certain this will be a vintage for long-long aging though.


This is a food wine as the body is full and weighty.


Blackcurrant and leather dominate but with a grainy, dusty mouth feel and a hint of cinnamon.


Some warmth in the throat suggestive of alcohol but not too powerful. 14%


A very long stretch with a savory finish.

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