Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Chateau Musar 2002

Majestic £17.99

I decided on Musar for a number of reasons:

1.) The snow arrived in London today which, as a man whose general contentedness is directly proportional to how warm I am, has made me extremely unhappy. I also happen to live on the road that Lambeth Council, in their infinite wisdom, decide to grit last in the entire borough. This is usually sometime around the end of March, and timed perfectly to coincide with the week-long Great British Summer.

2.) Having slid my way home I took my shoes off this evening to discover my right foot covered in blood. Again.

3.) I seem to sleep very little at the moment on account of a mysterious night-time rash that causes me to itch my hands and arms until they bleed.

4.) The normal recourse for this sort of situation would involve making a cup of tea, drawing a hot bath and swallowing a fistful of prescription drugs. But that was off the cards due to lack of codeine.

And whilst all this is no doubt just retribution for my myriad vices and the dubious company I keep, I also concluded that it was ample justification to open a bottle of wine from my rack's lowest and most expensive row.

Now the last time I started an evening with a bottle of Chateau Musar things went awry. I finally returned home two days later, sans sleep, but well fed, and unburdened by heavy memories.

But that was the '03; a delinquent wine. Vinified for the asbo crowd, with a Musar-funky nose backed by deep plummy fruit. Very drinkable and liable to cause some pretty dubious behaviour.

The '02, I was assured, is a different beast altogether.

Out of the bottle the brett on the nose made me want to gag. Any fruit character had been comprehensively swept away on a tide of shit, piss and acid-sweat. I am not about to revisit this old and dungy debate, but this was far too far into the farmyard for me.

The palate was completely discordant with this. It was still pretty heady, but with some softer raspberry and even peach flavours. Very fine grained, elegant tannins. However those given to homicide will be pleased to hear that all this was emphatically undermined by volatile acidity levels that would have taken the face off a fresh corpse.

This is a savage and bestial wine, but I think the Lebanese are taking liberties. Market appeal to bulimics and perverts.


  1. Hmmm - it's always recommended to decant Musar - and then leave it for a bit - and then, sort of wrestle it into submission... Perhaps you made the mistake of simply drinking it?

    Thanks for your kind remarks on http://www.sedimentblog.com - your own drinking is clearly going to reward observation...

  2. Aha. May be where I'm going wrong, though I rather enjoyed the '03 straight from the bottle, and tried this bottle over a few days with little improvement.

    Got another one that I think I hold off for a few years.