I’ve always said be VERY WARY of wines which just classify themselves as “white wine” or “red wine”. Well, I think I may have to change my point of view after I received two bottles of Chateau Musar White 2001 in an excellent value Chateau Musar half case from Tesco.com.
There’s no doubt, this was going to be a BIG white wine. I wasn’t sure what to expect so I had a browse on the Chateau Musar website to see what I could find out about the wine.
The varieties that collaborate to produce Château Musar White are particularly special; obeideh and merwah are indigenous to Mount Lebanon, their history dates back to ancient times. Our own vineyards of white grapes are located at an altitude of 1200m and hence the harvest takes place later than for reds, normally between the 5th and 15th October.
Both varieties are partly fermented in oak “barriques” where they mature for a further 9 months. They are then blended, bottled and aged for a further 4 years before release.
To fully appreciate the scope of their complexity and finesse, our white wines should be served at cellar temperature (15 degrees Celsius). And most importantly, don’t forget to decant them!
Okay… Obeidah and Merwah grape varieties! They’re new. I’d still no idea what to expect so I dug out some tasting notes.
“2001 was a most bizarre year. Although it started normally with some quite rainy cold days, things changed very quickly to warmer weather with almost no more rain at all. Therefore average annual rainfall was less than normal.
As global warming continues to become more obvious and serious, after a normal flowering in the spring, our July and August were far hotter than usual. Again this year, the vintage had to start early on the 3rd September – which is one of the earliest dates I have harvested in my life.
The crop of 2001 was good with quite ripe fruits but not too much tannin or acidity. However the quantity produced was 15% lower than usual. Fermentation progressed well and the malolactic followed easily and naturally as it did in the previous year 2000.
I tasted the wines last week ~ an easy, fruity year with good alcohol levels.
A very successful year perhaps…”
Serge Hochar – November 2001
“Overall the year 2001 will be on average a normal year. The Chateau wines of this year will be good but other wines will be more average.”
Comments from Ghazir tasting 17th January 2002
Not much the wiser I opened the bottle (and didn’t decant unfortunately!). My tasting notes said…
It’s a white red wine!. This is a red wine with the colour removed. Really complex, needs food. A real grower.
This is a monster of a white, it’s big and powerful and needs to be matched with food. Think of it as a perfect white to serve with a meal you would normally only offer red with. You may really surprise some people. 4 stars.
Chateau Musar White 2001