Chateau Musar and similar cuvées.

We recently had the opportunity to enjoy a glass of 2004 Chateau Musar. The blend of cabernet sauvignon, carignan and cinsault was unique and thoroughly enjoyable. I plan to acquire a few bottles spanning several vintages. Does anyone know of other wine makers producing blends of similar composition?

Musar is Musar. Even a similar (or identical) blend as the ‘04 wouldn’t be similar.


What they said.


{and what others before me said}. Musar is unique.

I strongly encourage you to start accumulating so different vintages of Musar and enjoying them. One of the world’s greatest wines, and still $50 and less.

The caveats are that (1) it appreciates sharply with age, so if you want to source older vintages, it will start getting a lot more expensive, which isn’t to say not maybe still worth it, and (2) it has a slightly higher flaw rate, especially brett, than premium wine generally.

Be aware that these wines can vary quite a bit by vintage. They are an adventure.

Ditto what they said.

Try the white and rose, too!

No. STOP with that thought right there and ask yourself why you are asking it?
Musar is sui generis. Nothing else like it. If you like Musar, buy Musar, because you really won’t find anything like it.

Okay. Got it.

Not trying to be contentious here, but isn’t this precisely the question that a berserker should be asking? You try new wines and when you find one you like you explore variations of the region/style/blend/vintage/etc to understand the nuances and dial into the things that make it work for you?

I happen to agree with that Musar is unique but will defend Jeff’s question as on-point.

I agree that it was an entirely smart and legitimate question, and yet the answer, to my knowledge, is there really isn’t anything particularly similar out there.

Sometimes there are some funkier northern Rhônes that have some stylistic similarities, I guess, but they’re not even the same varieties or anything.

Having said that, there are some other quality producers from Lebanon and Israel, I’ve always wondered if any of the others would captivate me, but I have had very few opportunities to explore those. Ksara is one name I remember being held out as a top Lebanese producer.

Sorry for coming across as harsh, I didn’t mean to, but Musar is one of those wines I really can’t find an equivalent for. It’s a wine I happen to love. You can probably find some blends with those grapes from southern France, but I can’t name any off the top of my head.

I tend to agree that Musar (and even the 2nd label ‘Hochar Pere et Fils’ that might - or might not - be being rebranded) is rather unique. I’m a long term fan, and it’s a wine that led almost directly to our first tasting group and some long-term friends, so it will forever be a wine we hold dear. I’d definitely recommend the Hochar pere et fils, which can be a useful indicator for the Musar vintage to follow, but is an interesting wine in its own right, and one that like Musar, can need extended aeration to show its worth. I love the white as well, and if you like Tondonia’s whites, then this should hold great interest as well.

However there are a number of wines that have hinted at similarities, from the Rhone / Southern France, but also the odd one in Italy (Hauner’s Hiera gave us echoes of Musar, with a hint of volcanic stink that not even Musar has - and it can have many elements that can be contentious in terms of whether it is a fault or not).

The kids are starting to launch some new Musar wines, so there may be some changes ahead. Who knows if good or bad.

The few I’ve tried have been decent wines, in the manner of wines made very professionally and correctly. Good wines they are, but nothing like the edginess and soul of Musar. Different strokes for different folks.

Completely agree with this as it describes the wines I have had from Lebanon, including Ksara, perfectly. The wines from Israel that I have had have all come from different grapes so comparisons are harder but nothing reminded me remotely of musar.

While this is true, it’s still seen quite the price appreciation as well. I used to buy it off of the wine list at a local Lebanese restaurant for $24. I don’t remember retail price at the time. The same restaurant now only has the Jeune Rouge and it’s priced at $41.

I echo many others, Musar is very different than any other producer out there. And varies a lot depending on vintage. Musar is a love or hate it type of wine. Very few people are somewhere in between.

I’d recommend you try a few different vintages first to see if you like the style of them before investing heavily in them.

No need to be sorry, Markus. I was actually amused by the number of people seemingly piling on with the same sentiments. This wine was on my list to try for a while; however, it is unavailable locally. We recently had dinner at the Capital Grill in Las Vegas and were excited to see the Musar on the by-the-glass list. It was a pleasant surprise. I will be visiting my daughter on Long Island next month and will probably be able to lay my hands on the 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Skip 2007. I love Musar and echo the sentiment repeated throughout this thread, but 2007 remains the only vintage (my experience goes back to the late 1970’s vintages) I’ve had multiple times yet found it every time rather awkward and unbalanced, dominated by this unpleasant bitterness (I suspect the wine is probably suffering from amertume fault).

2003 and 2008 instead are definitely vintages you want to start stocking. 2003 is drinking well now and will continue to do so for a decade or two more. 2008 is tightly wound-up but all about aging potential. 2009 is a softer and fruitier vintage, drinking nicely now.