Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Rating: **** 1998 Chateau Musar - Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

Review: This is an interesting wine. It became more widely known originally in the UK, and it has since begun to leap the ocean to the United States. In the States, Lebanon is certainly not one of the first locations that comes to mind when thinking about cabernet-based Bordeaux-style red wine blends. But so it is. The 1998 edition of Chateau Musar was my favorite vintage from a recent tasting. Here's what we've got here:

Color is a pale brick, almost pink in the light of the sun. But before you can even get close enough to spot the light color, you are overcome by the intriguing aroma... definitely the kind of stinky feet, barnyard aroma that will draw you in. Unless you're the squeamish type, of course, who is repelled by this classic old-world assault. I love it. Makes me wonder what's ahead. When you pay a bit more attention through the barnyard, you pick up some of that characteristic English Leather cologne scent too.

On the palate, Chateau Musar pulses in rich and round, pumping more of that barnyard hay throughout your consciousness. Because of that, you almost don't notice the creamy fruit; or the big, fleshy tannins despite the 8 years of age. Hook up that pony, cowhands, we're off for one happy tour of the ranch!

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