Wine Advocate 91 points - The 2003 Chateau Musar seems very different than years such as 1981, but maybe that’s just because it is so young, or possibly because of the vintage or an increasing nod to modernity. Either way, this is a ripe, sexy Musar. It retains its elegant mid-palate as well as lovely fruit and fine balance. There is a slightly sweet tinge to the finish, perhaps a touch of a high-toned demeanor. The lush texture and surprising richness make this a rather luscious wine by Musar standards. It is showing little but baby fat right now. Fresh and youthful, it is just a friendly puppy today. I’m not so sure it is in the winery’s preferred style, but it should be a very enjoyable vintage for consumers. Showing not a trace of age, it has a lot of potential and a long life ahead. It may yet be entitled to further upticks in score, but let’s be a bit conservative at the moment. Drink now-2035. (Jun 2013)
It is when the grapes reach optimal maturity, typically between the 5th and the 15th of september, that the harvest begins at Château Musar.
The grapes are handpicked as the sun rises across the Bekaa valley and are then swiftly transferred to the cellar in Ghazir where fermentation takes place followed by maceration lasting 2 to 4 weeks.
During the first year the wine is racked into Bordeaux type barrels made from Nevers oak and where it matures from 12 to 15 months.
Our philosophy of respect for nature and ecology is the reason for which our wines are neither fined nor filtered and receive no chemical additives with the exception of the minimum necessary dose of sulphur.
At the end of the second year blending takes place with the proportions of cabernet sauvignon, carignan and cinsault varying with each vintage, the only deciding factor being taste.
During the third year bottling takes place after which the wine is allowed to rest 3 to 4 years in our cellars before release.
To best appreciate the subtlety and complexity of Château Musar red we suggest decanting between 30 minutes and 2 hours before serving. Our wines, in particular the older vintages, are keen travelers, yet we suggest you leave them to rest 2 to 4 weeks before serving, and all the while decanting with great care.
While Château Musar red is certainly ready to be enjoyed upon release 7 years after vintage, or at the age of discretion, the patient are rewarded as they are exceptional after 15 years of age.