Critics Score: 91
Publication: Mark Squires, Wine Advocate
The 2001 CHATEAU MUSAR, bottled in 2004, is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault and Carignan, aged for one year in French oak. Nuanced by cherries and spice, it is quite delicious. Which wine you like better of this lineup—the 01 or 00, or even the 02 Hochar, is a matter of taste, perhaps, more than any inherent quality issue, as the styles are rather different. The ’00 is the powerhouse bruiser, the most rustic, while the Hochar is the approachable, easier wine. This is the one in the middle, arguably the best balance of fruit and power. On the downside, this is as gamey and funky as the 2000, but the balance is different, the wine seeming fruitier and fleshier, not quite as austere. Depending on your taste, you may find that a good thing, or prefer the more powerful and intellectual 2000. This is still powerful, I hasten to add, with drying notes on the finish, but the fruitiness melds beautifully with the barnyard notes, and it is nicely supported by the tannin rather than overwhelmed. As with the 2000, this should age well, although the 2000 should age longer, and this will be a wine some will love, and some will find has too much barnyard. Personally, I enjoyed it a lot, and was just imagining how it would work with venison.
Ch Musar, 2001, Bottle, 12x750ml
Scarlet in colour with terracotta tones at the rim, it has a complex nose of cigar box spice, warm leather, baked fruits, ripe morello cherries and blackcurrants. The palate has intense flavours of red cherries, dark chocolate, olives, figs and velvet smooth tannins on the very long finish.