Sunday, March 11, 2007

Chateau Musar 1999 Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

This beauty was my ‘Friday night’ tipple and I must admit it’s an interesting wine. I was about to go for my normal ‘claret with steak’ choice but then spotted this Lebanese treasure. It’s a cabernet sauvignon blend with the fruit grown in a baking hot climate and this really comes through on the palate – baked fruit that with bottle age have started to develop secondary, dried fruit characteristics.

It has some pretty chewy tannins so the first sip or two we had while preparing the food were quite rough. Then the amazing thing happened – which is why food and wine matching is so much fun – the wine when taken with the food (steak, roast potatoes, a green salad) became soft and smooth. The baked fruit flavours and slightly rustic palate worked in great harmony with the not too heavily seasoned food. I really recommend giving this red a try but do remember that it is currently about eight years old and definitely needs decanting before serving as there is a quite heavy sediment in the bottle. Stockist: Waitrose, Majestic, Systembolaget £14

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