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Wine group at J.M's 22/02/2010 (TNB)

Postscript to J.M.'s wine group 22/02/2010 (TNB)

Edinburgh Musarathon 18/02/2010 (TNB)

The Diary - February 2010

Wine group at J.M's 22/02/2010 (TNB)

Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 11/04/2010   Return to top

Postscript to J.M.'s wine group 22/02/2010 (TNB)

I forgot the Champagnes
  • Champagne 1999 (A. Clouet) Lively mousse but oxidative and awkward with bitter fruit. A bad bottle although I had another dodgy example of this a few years ago but I have had good ones more recently. Not Rated
  • Champagne Special Club 1996 (J. Michel) Creamy nose, quite a large wine but nicely balanced. This has improved a lot over the last few years. **** and still improving
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 11/04/2010   Return to top

Edinburgh Musarathon 18/02/2010 (TNB)

Musar - an early wine enthusiasm that I have not really drunk much for years. On this showing, every wine was good, there's not a huge variation in quality although style does shift from vintage to vintage.

Most important, all the vintages were proper wines with some genuine interest about them. I am not sure I am rushing out to buy more - it's not quite the bargain it was perhaps, but if I did it might be the 2002 for keeping and the 1998 for both drinking and keeping a while.

Am I marking a bit high below? In some strict sense, perhaps a bit - I guess: I can see myself marking something that might be quite similar from the South of France a bit lower. On the other hand, I like to score in context. Of course, one can not give them all five stars on the basis of being far ahead of the field in Lebanon but there is something very appealing about them as a group: a wine identity created in an unlikely place.

  • Croser 2006 Richer than I remember older vintages of this - tending almost to clumsy. Has good presence though. ***
  • Champagne Cuvee Laetitia Grand Cru NV Lovely density, reserve wine depth and quality. Excellent. A good ****
  • Chateau Musar blanc 2001 Deep amber - in a pretty oxidative style. Needs a bit of air I think. Seems quite good, although I would like to drink a few glasses over an evening to decide about it. Probably best with food. Let's say a bare *** for now.
  • Chateau Musar 1998 Like almost all the wins, this has a hit of that leathery, slightly farmyard Musar nose. Beyond that, very elegant, medium bodied with silky Burgundian fruit. It hides its structure rather well, but there is a good backbone there and it may well improve. Very good. Bare ****
  • Chateau Musar 1996 More closed, rather richer fruit. A touch clumsy by comparison with the 98 and lacking the lift. Still, maybe it needs time. Top *** in time.
  • Chateau Musar 2001 Certainly seems a bit one-dimensional currently, but it could well blossom. Bare *** - maybe more in time.
  • Chateau Musar 1993 Very nice balance in every way: substantial structure but good fresh fruit overlying it. Savoury wine. Easy ***(*)
  • Chateau Musar 1991 Rounded berry fruit - drinking rather well. Hinting more at Claret than Burgundy perhaps (although I don't think of Musar as a Bordeaux-like). Bare ****
  • Chateau Musar 1981 Nice balance, completely alive, gamy, fine fruit. Top **** - almost more.
  • Chateau Musar 1997 The beginning of a flight believed in advance to be weightier, less Burgundian vintages. Again, a bit young - Musar really is a wine for keeping. Dense fruit. Bare ***(*)
  • Chateau Musar 1994 Quite ripe and sweet - perfectly drinkable, but my least favourite of the night. ***
  • Chateau Musar 1999 Rounded wine, good density again and decent length. Bare ***(*)
  • Chateau Musar 2002 Rather stylish - I just get the impression that there has been an attempt to produce something a bit more mainstream. Not an idea I like general, but perhaps in Musar's case a few careful modern-minded improvments might do more good than harm. Serious wine that will turn out very well, I think. Top ***(*)
  • Vouvray Le Haut Lieu Moelleux 1997 (Huet) Just a small glass at the end of a long evening. Grassy, pleasing as ever. ***(*)
Tasting notes added to Fine Wine Diary 19/02/2010   Return to top