Musar becoming a proper wine?!

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Alex Lake, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. So I note that with the latest vintage of the chateau, 2010, Musar may be playing the games that the big boys have been doing successfully for years - i.e. releasing a relatively small amount (they say it was a small vintage) and resulting in over-subscription (certainly via my main agent).

    Good for them, I say!

    2011 will be coming very soon, so we'll be back to the old vintage+7 years for releases.

    I'd love to know what proportion of the vintage they're releasing now, maybe on a territory by territory basis. They do like to keep some back, so they can offer it to those who can afford it, and continue their noble habit of serving old, often seriously old, vintages at tastings and wine fairs, etc.
  2. Alex, who wrote this? 'Many will already know of my passion for this strange,rich wine from Lebanon which I swear tastes like something between a hot-season Latour, a grand and ancient Hermitage and one of those magnificent old 'cooked' Burgundies bottled in England which have now all but disappeared from the market.'
  3. You just did Tom.
  4. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    I think under Serge's control they kept huge stocks back: he told me there were over two million bottles of unreleased older vintages at the winery, and someone told me there were 1 million in a storage facility the have somewhere in Wiltshire too.
  5. Broadbent?
  6. Ah - that quotation brings back memories. A piece of his around that time extolling Doudet-Naudin and Prosper Maufoux is what got me interested in burgundy.
    Thom Blach likes this.
  7. Proper wine? I hope not. I view Musar as like a lovable, eccentric great uncle.
  8. If we're going down memory lane then I can trump all of you.

    I posted the first Musar thread on the very first forum (I remember Tom C. commenting that he was privately wondering how long it would be before this wine was mentioned).

    And thus began the titanic struggle (all in fun I hasten to add) with the Mighty Nick Alabaster and Jamie Goode, spawning a thousand threads on volatile acidity and brett.

    For years I laboured alone, until Alexl (his old moniker) rode to my rescue !
  9. OK, so who wrote this (and when)?

    “Not wishing to swank, I have been stupendously clever to get hold of 150 cases at £4.25 a bottle delivered. Adnams is already asking £5.12 and Christophers £5.19, and while it may still be possible to find some bin-ends at Waitrose which would be slightly cheaper over the counter, I should imagine that by the next consignment prices will have gone through the roof. As they richly deserve to do. It is a marvellous wine and, at this price, quite amazing … My younger daughter claimed to detect what she called a first aid lorry driving through it, by which I suppose she was suggesting that she found that the syrah and cinsault grapes, added to the preponderantly Cabernet cepage, added a medicinal quality; another spoke of syrup of figs, but it turned out that syrup of figs was his favourite drink. But enough of this. The wine has a massive concentration, such as one could not possibly find in France at under £10-£12 a bottle, even from the Rhone. It has the blackberry warmth of a hot country wine with the elegance of Pauillac, and even a hint of complexity. It is obviously not classic wine, as the presence of syrah and cinsault in a cabernet cocktail testifies, but I would aver that M. Hochar has, by his boldness, created what will eventually be recognised as a new classic. My only criticism is that he should buy more expensive corks, as I fear for the life of the ones he has chosen”.
    Alex Lake likes this.
  10. I dunno, but his daughter seemed to understand brett better than he or she did.
  11. I have a mostly complete 2000-2010 vertical, not sure when I'll find an occasion to drink 10 bottles of wine in one sitting though, but I'd better get it drunk soon or it'll get really out of hand!
  12. Early eighties Auberon Waugh for the Spectator wine club, the same author I was quoting. Quite my favourite wine writer!
    Daron Fincham likes this.
  13. Did he really drink his way through 150 cases of Musar? Given his dedication to other wines as well, that must count as heroism indeed.
  14. Can't beat Old Auberon
  15. I don't think they were all for personal consumption - he was selling them through the Spectator wine club. His wine club columns are all available for free online, on the Spectator Archive (including his complaints (from July 1983) about the prices of 1982 First Growths at £30 to £35 a bottle, when Leoville Las Cases 1982 could be had for only £9 a bottle). "Waugh on Wine" is also a great little book.
    Alex Jagger and Thom Blach like this.
  16. Waugh's habit of smoking at wine tastings was disapproved of by some of his more po-faced wine writing colleagues but he liked to point out that he'd be smoking when drinking them so that it made sense to smoke while tasting them, and of course in those days even his non-smoking colleagues would more often than not drink in a smoky environment.Such a predilection explains much of his taste in wine-Musar is very much a tobacco-smoke proof example.
    Somewhat to my surprise I was told recently that Robert Parker is/was a similarly keen smoker, I don't know how true that is.
  17. I suspect with their lesser wines becoming more widely available through M&S,Majestic etc. they are certainly becoming more aware of the marketing and sales possibilities for their wines. They do seem to hold back huge amounts of wines - but what do they do or intend to with them? Do folk on here have sources to get Musar other than the usual mainstream places?
    I couldn't bear to be in the company of someone smoking at a wine tasting and I'm afraid I would need to walk away.
    John McCann likes this.
  18. I am very much in favour of wines that compliment cigars, but have found Sauternes and malt whisky to do that job the best. I am less experienced with cigarettes, but I can understand how there might be a requirement for this choice.
  19. I buy through other sources - Divine Fine Wine are probably my main source.
  20. OK, so now it would appear that Musar is NOT a proper wine ;-) - as they've stopped selling it to UK merchants (and thus customers) in bond. I think that some canny people had realised that it's much cheaper here than in some other territories (eg. USA) and were buying in the UK IB and shipping overseas. That's a real PITA.
  21. I’m attending a Musar tasting at a local merchant, this week. Elliott O’Mara, UK ambassador for Musar (natch) is presenting. I may well ask a question on the subject.
  22. About £30 here in Canada.
  23. Is that including sales tax/duty?
  24. My estimate include the sales tax, only 5% in Alberta but higher in other provinces. I quoted what I found to be the lowest retail price, the high side being £35 in a store in Edmonton. There is an online store in Calgary, about 3 hours south of here, where it sells for £27 excluding delivery.

    I used to buy my Musars when I went through Heathrow's Terminal 5 a number of years ago, £15 a bottle for the '01 and '02 but crept up to £18 for the '03 vintage.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
  25. Do you have the concept of IB in Canada? And is there "duty" related to the alcoholic nature of wine?

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