The color is a brilliant deep red color. The nose is full of red fruits, mostly cherries and cassis, with flavors of vanilla, oakiness, and some hints of chocolate. This follows through in the taste which is rich, well balanced, mellow with spices in the beginning, very smooth tanins surrounded with mature red fruits, vanilla and chocolate, and a hint of orange in the end. Very long and smooth after taste.
Like all Chateau Musar red wines, it is a blend of Cinsault, Carignan and Cabernet-Sauvignon with the usual proportions(1/3). Fermented in cement vats with long maceration periods (up to 4 weeks) then aged 1 year in french oak, it was blended at the end of its second year (august 2001) and bottled in Summer 2002. Like Chateau Musar red wines: no additives, low sulphur level, and no fining.
In their youth, Chateau Musar Reds are dense and richly-textured, with intense ‘baked fruit’ characters: plums, damsons, cranberries, cherries, figs and dates. Bordeaux grape Cabernet Sauvignon lends black fruit flavors; Rhône grapes Cinsault and Carignan contribute fragrance (violets; pepper) and supple spiciness. Either set of qualities might dominate a particular vintage, but the style is always emphatically Lebanese: enticingly aromatic, with persistent fruit flavors.
Grapes and vines
Seven years in the making, Chateau Musar Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault from vineyards near the Bekaa Valley villages of Aana and Kefraya on gravelly soils over limestone. Planted from the 1930s onwards, yields are low from these mature bushvines (average age: 40 years): Between 15 to 35hl per hectare.
The varietal components in Chateau Musar Red undergo lengthy fermentations in cement vats at temperatures below 30°C. 6 months after the harvest they are transferred into French barrels (oak from the forest of Nevers) for one year. Blending The varietal components are brought together two years after the harvest; the resulting blend is then placed back in cement tanks before being bottled 12 months later. Each wine is blended to reflect the character of the vintage. After 4 years’ bottle maturation in the deep stone cellars of Chateau Musar, the finished wines are released a full seven years after the harvest.