Thursday, February 12, 2009

Report from ... Report from - Musar Tasting at Oasi - February 3, 2009

I have always been interested in the age worthiness of wine, but Chateau Musar has turned this fascination of mine into an art form. Here they don’t release wine before its time, and time usually dictates a few years in barrel and bottle. The current Musar release is the 2001 vintage, so that should give you an idea about what the term “time” means to this winery. I have written about Musar before, so instead of boring you with a rehash of details I invite you to learn more by reading my previous article – as for this article, let’s get right to the tasting.

Today, a small group of us tried 6 Musar wines in the comfort of Oasi Restaurant (fellow wine writer John Szabo’s place). Three whites (1995, 1999, 2001) and three reds (1991, 1997, 1998) were offered up for tasting all of which are being released thru the new on-line store Vintages has set up (Vintages On-line Exclusives). My top three wines were as follows:

Chateau Musar Red 1991 ($140.70) … proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that these wines age ever so gracefully. Serge Hochar (owner and winemaker) once said “as Musar ages they get younger” – we’ll call this the Benjamin Button effect. You would never believe this wine is 18 years old. The nose is still vibrant with fruits like sour cherry and other red fruit … the palate follows in the same vein with dried red fruit that seemed sweet yet dry at the same time – this wine truly defies description as you hold it in your mouth and put your nose to the glass, all the while the number 18 sweeps through your head. “No way,” I kept on saying to myself, “No way this wine is 18 years old.” Amazing. If the other two reds (1998 - $69.00 and 1997 – $79.00) age this well, they’re a steal at their current price.

The other two wines from Musar that I enjoyed were white … these are rare finds in the LCBO system and are just starting to come back into the marketplace. The 2001 ($35.00) had nutty aromas and tastes with lovely spice, clove, rusty apple and vanilla – good acidity in this wine makes it feel vibrant in your mouth. The 1999 ($63.95) had caramel nuances along with slightly oxidized peaches and pear with firm acidity – these wines really have to be tried to be believed – that goes for the reds as well as the whites.

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