WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

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WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Otto » Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:00 pm

A very nice tasting! The second wine of Musar has never endeared itself to me. But I was very, very happy to say that the 1998 red showed much better than on previous showings - it seems to be very good, rather than just ok as I previously thought. The white 98 is of course great.

Hochar Pere et Fils 2001 Rouge
Confected nose of raspberry. Palate is also confected. I don't get Musar's "lesser" wines. Fine acidity is a redeeming feature. Drinkable.

Musar Rouge 1998
Delicious amounts of dung, rather tame on the Musar funk front, rather more elegant than usual. The palate is a bit lighter than usual, tamer acids than usual, but fine intensity and length. Very good actually! A much better showing than my previous three bottles.

Musar Rouge 1995
Now this is the real stuff! Animal, shitty, not at all tame on the funk department, with lots of savoury elements yet lots of fruit as well. The palate is very fruit forward at the moment, with the lovely tangy acidity so typical to the winery, and eternal length. Frigging fantastic stuff! Almost as good as the 1991!

Musar Rouge 1977
Still a fairly deep red; not much more developed than the 95. The nose is fruity, with floral notes to the typical shit, some earth and leather and peaches. The palate is a bit soft, much too tame for Musar, rather sweet, but with fine acidity. Very long. Very good. But this is the second time I've tried this, and it really doesn't seem Musary to me. A very good wine, but atypical Musar. I much preferred the next wine!

Musar Rouge 1966
More orange, but healthy colour, lots of sediment, so it was a bit cloudy. Oh my, what a nose! Shit. Barnfuls of it. With a lovely leafy, leathery, savoury, cassis quality to it, reminding me of a Chinon from a warm year, but with a personality of its own totally unlike Chinon. Pardoxical certainly. The palate has unbelievable intensity, razor sharp acidity backed up by gorgeous ripe fruit (which isn't at all gobby, thank goodness) and an eternal aftertaste which opens up like the cliché of the peacock's tail. Stunning wine.

Musar Blanc 1998
A favourite of mine! A nose of Cantillon's Gueuze (brettanomyces bruxellensis, I suppose that would be), white flowers. The palate is intense, fairly acidic, withe lovely fruit and nuttiness. Very good.

Cheers,
Otto
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Apr 27, 2006 9:31 pm

Nice going there Otto. No heckling allowed here on this board!!!!
On the UK wine forum, Otto would be at the receiving end of some jabs, that`s for sure. LOL...and we are not even talking Pinotage>
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Mike Conner » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:49 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:
Musar Rouge 1966
More orange, but healthy colour, lots of sediment, so it was a bit cloudy. Oh my, what a nose! Shit. Barnfuls of it. With a lovely leafy, leathery, savoury, cassis quality to it, reminding me of a Chinon from a warm year, but with a personality of its own totally unlike Chinon. Pardoxical certainly. The palate has unbelievable intensity, razor sharp acidity backed up by gorgeous ripe fruit (which isn't at all gobby, thank goodness) and an eternal aftertaste which opens up like the cliché of the peacock's tail. Stunning wine.


Otto,

Nice notes.

You were definitely lucky with your bottle of '66.

I've had it on a number of occasions (found a nice stash of it in town a number of years ago when Serge Hochar himself popped through on one of his US tours). Our bottles have been almost "austere" and bordeaux-like in its 'style' - of course, it was still Musar with its interesting flavor profile. Quite flavorful (and being my birthyear, something of obvious interest to me), but I would never have described the palate as you have. An interesting side point, our bottles have never shown much brett.

We also had bottles of '70 and '72. Both of which have been much deeper in their fruit flavors and interest on the palate for the times we've sampled them. My favorite of the three has been the '72, just because it is not quite the bruiser that the '70 is (which of course is marvelous in its own right).

I have one bottle of each vintage left so I can have at least one more experience with these. And, my best friend in town also has a '66 left, so perhaps I'll get to sample the '66 twice yet!

Thanks,

Mike
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Otto » Sat Apr 29, 2006 2:51 pm

Mike, I agree, the 72 is stunning also. And you're a lucky ba****d to have so many 66s close to you! I must go to Lebanon soon and buy more.... But no Brett? But [cough, splutter], but [...stutter...], that's not Musar then!!!!!
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Mike Conner » Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:01 pm

Otto,

Careful . . . re-read what I wrote:

..."our bottles have never shown much brett."

Didn't say no brett. Just not to the degree to which you seemed to indicate in your note. In fact, all the bottles I've gone through might have a splash or hint of brett, but certainly not a dominating component.

Anyway, when I get to the bottles I have, I'll be more on the lookout for brett.

Also, I envy your possible trip to Lebanon - I'd surely love to go one day just to visit Serge in his element.

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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby OW Holmes » Sun Apr 30, 2006 8:42 pm

Otto, I've only been blessed to be able to taste Musar on a couple of occasions, and loved it.
Please tell me, among the current vintages that are now available, what vintage is the quitessential Musar rouge - at least in flavor. I'd like to introduce some friends to this wine.
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Otto » Mon May 01, 2006 7:05 am

Careful . . . re-read what I wrote:

..."our bottles have never shown much brett."

Didn't say no brett. Just not to the degree to which you seemed to indicate in your note. In fact, all the bottles I've gone through might have a splash or hint of brett, but certainly not a dominating component.

Anyway, when I get to the bottles I have, I'll be more on the lookout for brett.


Ok, I hear you. But I also implied that the brett didn't obliterate everything else so it wasn't in that sense dominant. Rather it was pleasantly obvious and plentiful but still only a nuance. I guess we are talking of the same amounts of brett, then. I admit I get carried away with my brett adoration at times - I just want an antidote to the praising of squeaky clean wines that goes on to profuse amounts on most boards ;)

Also, I envy your possible trip to Lebanon - I'd surely love to go one day just to visit Serge in his element.


Highly recommended. I've been to Lebanon several times. It's not as nice a place to visit as Syria, but I still could live there for the rest of my life. And Musar is a great place to visit also and they have an excellent selection of older vintages on sale there for relatively cheap.

Otto, I've only been blessed to be able to taste Musar on a couple of occasions, and loved it.
Please tell me, among the current vintages that are now available, what vintage is the quitessential Musar rouge - at least in flavor. I'd like to introduce some friends to this wine.


Oliver, I don't know which vintages you have available. But young Musar always needs lots of air - do keep this in mind. The most recent release is the 98 we tasted here which is a nice if atypical Musar in its funklessness. The 97 is from a really warm year so I'm finding it a little too port-like at the moment. 96 is weak - avoid. 95 is supreme but way too young. 94 is again from a really warm year and is a bit like the 97 - very good, but not really my favourite. Perhaps the 93, if you have that old, would be the best. A stunning Musar, so typical that I would call it the quintessence of Musar. If you do have this available, decant it for about 5 hours and then start drinking it slowly (and save a glass for the next day - I guarantee it will be even better then!!!). Another supreme example is the 1991, which I like even better than the 93, but this seems to be a bit hard to find at the moment - I'm obviously not the only one to love it. 90 is weak - avoid. Here's my reccos for the recent years. I hope you have at least a few of these available, preferrably the 93 and 91. Hope that helps!

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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Daniel Paulson » Mon May 01, 2006 12:14 pm

Hi Otto,
While I am familiar with the phrase "Shit" in the vernacular, I am uninitiated with its use as a description of our precious Vino. Please forgive my ignorance; however, I'm relatively new at this wine business. What is the meaning of "shit?" What qualities characterize "shit?"

Again, please excuse my ignorance in this matter...

Drink well,
Daniel
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Jenise » Mon May 01, 2006 12:32 pm

Otto, in these notes the "rouge" you speak of is the Cuvee Rouge which is not the premium Musar,and when you comment about Hochar's second wines you're not talking about the Rouge but the Hochar, is that right? I'm actually a little confused about the difference between the Rouge and the Hochar--I had understood the former was also a second wine. If it's not, then what exactly is it--just a different blend? It's certainly priced like a lesser wine.
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Rahsaan » Mon May 01, 2006 2:21 pm

While I am familiar with the phrase "Shit" in the vernacular, I am uninitiated with its use as a description of our precious Vino. Please forgive my ignorance; however, I'm relatively new at this wine business. What is the meaning of "shit?" What qualities characterize "shit?"


Drink some Musar and you'll have the answer to this question.

Many wines with brett tasty funky, animal, and shitty, as Otto described. Some people like this in small doses, others in large doses, i.e. Musar..
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Otto » Mon May 01, 2006 2:56 pm

Daniel, Rahsaan answered well (thanks Rahsaan!). I meant there are plentiful Brettanomyces aromas, which some people call animal, others call stably but which I (Finns aren't noted for being too circumlocutious about things) call dung or shit.

Jenise, no! The Rouge I appended to the word Musar is meant to signify that this is the main wine but not the white version. The Musar portfolio is Musar Rouge and Blanc and Rosé; then comes Hochar Père et Fils in all sorts of funny colours which is like the Musar except it isn't aged as long, i.e. what I would call a second wine. Then comes the Cuvée Musar which Musar calls their second wine, i.e. what I would say is their third wine, which is like a lighter version of the Hochar. Then comes the Musar Jeune and Rubis (only red, AFAIK) which are only sold in Lebanon. They also make a smashing Arraq if you people are into that.
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Bob Henrick » Mon May 01, 2006 6:28 pm

Daniel, I believe that Otto is using the term in place of the word merde (french) which I have seen and used much more often than the same word in english. Some how the english (to english speaking peoples) just sounds so much more offensive. or at least that is my story. BTW, I don't think I have seen you here before, so Welcome to the forum
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Thanks, Otto

Postby OW Holmes » Tue May 02, 2006 6:21 pm

I just ordered some 91, 93 and 95. What about 1986???? That is available too.
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Mike Conner » Tue May 02, 2006 9:02 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:Ok, I hear you. But I also implied that the brett didn't obliterate everything else so it wasn't in that sense dominant. Rather it was pleasantly obvious and plentiful but still only a nuance. I guess we are talking of the same amounts of brett, then. I admit I get carried away with my brett adoration at times - I just want an antidote to the praising of squeaky clean wines that goes on to profuse amounts on most boards ;)


Otto,

Got it.

I'm probably less adverse to brett than many, and certainly like you, am not afraid of this in my wine as long as it is at the level of a "spice" not the dominant flavor component. (I still think my Musar bottles have not shown much brett - for whatever reason).

Any chance you'd consider coming across the pond this year to the MoCool gathering? Although the theme isn't specific to Musar (I think the theme is the wines of 1990), my last bottles could arrive for the Friday gathering, or an "on the side" Saturday tasting. Heck, maybe OW could contribute those vintages he just found and we could do a Musar tasting before the picnic!

Just a thought.

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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Bob Henrick » Tue May 02, 2006 9:05 pm

Heck Mike, I have some 89 and some 94, plus 96 and 98 white. we could maybe get Joel to declare 06 a Musar Mo'Cool. I bet Gary K has a vintage or six too.
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Mike Conner » Tue May 02, 2006 9:17 pm

Bob,

I'm still into the idea of a separate Musar tasting.

If it weren't for the glassware, and the fact that I only have a bottle of each (66,70,72) maybe a Sunday tasting should be organized. Or, small Saturday tasting.

MJC
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Don't forget me, BobH....

Postby OW Holmes » Tue May 02, 2006 9:28 pm

I'd be up for a little hotel room tasting I've found a wine that has the beautiful animalism of Musar, about the same price, that I'll contfribute.
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Re: Don't forget me, BobH....

Postby Bob Henrick » Tue May 02, 2006 9:39 pm

An inroom tasting seems to be in order OW. Somehow we have to get the Noland brothers involved too.
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Noland Bros... we need you!!!

Postby OW Holmes » Wed May 03, 2006 12:29 am

Agreed, Bob. I'm already looking forward to MoCOOL.
And NiagaraCOOL too. Are you going??
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Bill Spohn » Wed May 03, 2006 11:44 am

Daniel Paulson wrote:Hi Otto,
While I am familiar with the phrase "Shit" in the vernacular, I am uninitiated with its use as a description of our precious Vino.


Merde indicates a bit of 'seasoning' if in small amounts, and simply bad, unclean winemaking if in large quantities.

Having said that I have noit noted nearly as much of that component in Musars I have tasted as Otto did.

Here are some of my notes on older vintages:

With dinner last evening, an interesting array of wines:

1987 Chalone Pinot Blanc - medium straw colour, warm mature nose that
did get more interesting with time, and an oxidised wine that faded
quickly with time. A few interesting bits, like an attractive 55 year
old lady at a distance, (or gentleman, chacun a son gout) but when
you get up close......


1988 Carmenet Semillon (11%) - Sauvignon Blanc (89%) - an earlier
attempt at a Bord4eaux blend, apparently awkward when young, but
pretty good now - nice sweet approach, a melon/cantaloupe nose, and
good balance.


The Musars:


1970 - excellent mature, fairly Bordeaux styled nose, a little hot,
and perhaps with just a touch too much terminal acidity, but that is
quibbling - at the age, a very nice wine.


1972 - sweeter nose, more mature, and a bit lighter, probably better a
few years ago, slightly bitter but not unpleasant finish, not bad.


1975 - garnet colour, again, a sweet approach, not much nose at first,
but developed some nice spice with time sweet on the palate with
medium length, good terminal acidity, improved in the glass.


1977 - good colour, mature nose, sweet, balanced, good acidity, but
not especially outstanding.


1978 - better nose of old fruit and leather, softer wine, quite
smooth, touch of anise, quite nice.


1982 - (we think - the label had been through a flooded basement, and
Musar does not brand the corks!). Nice bit of custard on the nose,
with some nutmeg, still had some tannin, but I got the impression that
it was getting a bit tired, though pretty decent right now.


1978 Ch. St. Jean Belle Terre TBA - one of my wines, at 28.2 residual
sugar, a brown, sweet, intense, remarkable wine that just keeps going
on seemingly forever. Candied prunes on the nose - actually much
better than that sounds, and a finish that seems to never end.


1982 Churchill Crusted Port - another from my cellar, needed something
to go with the cheese, modest, but serviceable a bit hot in the nose,
decent fruit and surprisingly decent length, better than the last time
I remember having it.


Please note the absence of any funk in the noses.

I should also say that the winemaking changed in the early 90s with more international earlier drinking wines coming from Hochar than was the case in the older vintages.
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Re: Noland Bros... we need you!!!

Postby Bob Henrick » Wed May 03, 2006 2:43 pm

I don't see anyway possible for me to make them both OW, so I guess the answer is, that as much as I would like to, I can't.
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Re: Noland Bros... we need you!!!

Postby OW Holmes » Wed May 03, 2006 2:53 pm

Nuts. We'll miss you.
-OW
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby Otto » Thu May 04, 2006 4:37 pm

Any chance you'd consider coming across the pond this year to the MoCool gathering? Although the theme isn't specific to Musar (I think the theme is the wines of 1990), my last bottles could arrive for the Friday gathering, or an "on the side" Saturday tasting. Heck, maybe OW could contribute those vintages he just found and we could do a Musar tasting before the picnic!

Lots of questions: I'd love to .... but do you know of anyone willing to finance a broke student's trip to taste Musar? No? What if I do it for the cause of humanity? (Do you think anyone will buy that?)

Am I the only one who gets some merde/shit/dung/funk/brettanomyces bruxellensis in my Musar? What sort of strange Musars do you get accross the pond?

Otto? (A ? because I'm having a great identity crisis: to become an assyriologist or arabist or iranist?)
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Re: WTNs: Musar 1998, 1995, 1977, 1966

Postby OW Holmes » Thu May 04, 2006 4:53 pm

[quote="Mike Conner] Any chance you'd consider coming across the pond this year to the MoCool gathering? Although the theme isn't specific to Musar (I think the theme is the wines of 1990), my last bottles could arrive for the Friday gathering, or an "on the side" Saturday tasting. Heck, maybe OW could contribute those vintages he just found and we could do a Musar tasting before the picnic!


Mike[/quote]

I'd be happy to contribute to a tasting to be part of a nice vertical like that. I suspect BobH might too - I know he's a fan.
But where did you get the info that the theme this year is "wines of 1990?" I hadn't heard that. Sounds very interesting, particularly considering the year in Bdx, I just hadn't heard about it.
-OW
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