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 flavours; 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 flavours.
The harvest of 2011 posed one of the most challenging experiences in wine-making at Chateau Musar over the last 20 years, as it was one of the most untypical years in Lebanese history.
“Fairly deep ruby. A denser, more concentrated, linear nose than the 2010 served alongside. A certain dustiness of aroma. This seems more obviously Cabernet than most Musar reds. Still quite youthful. Falls away a little on the end. Well judged but less distinctive and less obviously Lebanese than some vintages. Decent balance. Certainly not over the top. 14% alc. Drink 2020-2034. 17 / 20 points."