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Patrick Martin

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More Musar: TN and buying plans

by Patrick Martin » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:39 pm

Had my first Musar, the 1998 vintage. Here was my take:
Recently enjoyed a 98 Musar, my first of any vintage from this estate. It was a bit light as reviews suggested it would be, but it was complex and unusual, seeming to straddle Rioja and Rhone stylistically (and maybe with some southern Italy thrown in; burgundy wasn't out of the question either). I served it blind and the guesses were all over the place, and they eventually settled on old-school Rioja... There was an animal-gamey facet I loved to go with some good density and sweet fruit, and some Italian-style acidity giving it intensity. Suitably rustic-distinctive, maybe just a bit funky, with a hint of VA, it initially seemed slightly corked but that mustiness blew off with air. Overall, I found it pretty thrilling especially if this is a so-so vintage for Musar. 92-93 pts.

That all said, I need more! Though hard to find, I can get the following vintages of it and in differing sizes. What should I buy based on some delta of vintage and price?
Half-Bottles
2004 375 ML $19
2002 375 ML $20
2001 375 ML $21
2000 375 ML $22
1998 375 ML $27

Full Bottles
2004 750 ML $33
2002 750 ML $35
2001 750 ML $39
2000 750 ML $40
1998 750 ML $47
1999 750 ML $49
1997 750 ML $49
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Matt Richman

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Re: More Musar: TN and buying plans

by Matt Richman » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:55 am

I would recommend finding a fully mature bottle, which should be at least 20 years old, so you can taste what it becomes. You can find such things in the $125 range.

Look for the 1991 if you can. Last I had it was about 2 years ago and it was drinking very well and had a long life in front of it.

Musar always requires a lot of air, as you've found out.
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Otto

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Re: More Musar: TN and buying plans

by Otto » Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:59 am

Patrick,

Like I wrote elsewhere the '98 has in recent years morphed into a very pretty wine though initially I wasn't so keen on it.

From your list I would buy some 2002 and 1999 for long term storage (both are awkward now and don't really open up even with extended exposure to air). The problem with Musar is that it tends to age at a glacial pace and really old vintages tend to be very expensive. One that is slightly less expensive because it is commonly thought of as a pretty bad year for Musar is the 1982. It's much better than its reputation suggests and will give you a pretty good view of what Musar is like when fully mature.

From trying now from your list I would try the 2004 from a half. I had that about half a year ago and it was open - though obviously young. Give it 2h of air and it should be great! But remember that young Musar, before it closes down, can be a bit of a brute so don't expect anything delicate and have something hearty to eat with it!

2001 was a bit closed still and needed a day to open up but it is a good (though not great) year for Musar, in a relatively hot year style. 2000 I haven't had in a while but it was also a bit lighter style so I expect it should have woken up from its slumber so trying a half might be fun.

And that still leaves the 1997 on your list: I loved the wine when it was released. It was wild and funky and perhaps the most stereotypical Musar (in having wild amounts of VA and funk). It was a challenging wine. Unfortunately when I've tasted it since, it's always been weird and sometimes even unpleasant. I hope its just a phase (it probably is, Musars at age 20 always seem to have left puberty behind! :D ). But if you're new to Musar, perhaps best not to gamble on this one since there are safer bets on your list.

And a wild generalization to end with: Musar on release and for a couple years after can be delightful in a brutish kind of way; but then it usually closes down hard for about a decade. So drink on release or after they are 15-18yo.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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James Dietz

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Re: More Musar: TN and buying plans

by James Dietz » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:31 am

Those are decent prices. Can you say where you found them?
Cheers, Jim

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