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2014 Chateau Musar
Latest Release

 

It's easy to think of Lebanon as a hot country but when it comes to wine and the Beka'a Valley, this can be misleading. At 900m above sea level, it is considerably cooler than might be imagined. Frost can even be an issue; in 2015, Chateau Musar lost 45% of it's crop to frost. Mount Lebanon is sometimes referred to as the Switzerland of the East, with up to 4m a year of snow.

2014, however, was a year for the history books, where the mountains of Lebanon failed to turn white with snow. Not only was the preceding winter lacking in precipitation, the whole growing season was one of the most arid. As Musar vines are never irrigated, they have to fend for themselves and the older vines have learned to drive their roots deep. The result is, of course, low yields but with great concentration and minerality derived from the limestone component of the soils here.  

Musar can have distinctly different characteristics depending on the vintage but it will always remain one of the most easily identifiable wines in any blind tasting. The 2014 has already won its place in my heart as one as one of my favourite young vintages, to-date. Only ever released at a minimum of 6 years old, Musar can be enjoyed straight away but most will hit new peaks after a further decade in the cellar and like some of the greatest vintages of old, 2014 has all the components to mature for many years more.

2014 Chateau Musar
An equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan

£156 duty & VAT paid

The nose is complex and profound, with heady aromas of black cherry, redcurrant, quince, and baked plum, overlaid with subtle notes of graphite, iodine and beeswax. This is a particularly Bordeaux-styled Musar; the Cabernet Sauvignon component is really on form in 2014 and reminiscent of a fine St Julien. There’s firm underlying structure, with robust tannins, balanced acidity, and plenty of fleshy ripe fruit (damson, elderberry, and Victoria plum). Fabulous purity and freshness mean this does not feel like a 14% alcohol wine. Layers of complexity slowly unfold and there is a saline streak to the long finish. This is a very polished and sophisticated Musar, with a sensual core of vibrant fruit. It is impressive now but destined for greatness in years to come. If you can keep your hands off it, the 2014 Musar will reward patience. Now-2054+

Simon Quinn
For a selection of half bottles, bottles and magnums from library vintages, visit the Musar section of our website.

All our Musar wines are sourced directly from the chateau and never on the open market so you can be certain of their impeccable provenance. Vintages from the 1950s-1970s have all been reconditioned by the chateau. These older vintages may be purchased by the case or as individual bottles, making for some great anniversary gifts or vertical tasting opportunities.
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