Name: Chateau Musar Gaston Hochar Rogue
Region: Bekaa Valley
Producer: Chateau Musar
Varietal: Red Blend
The Wine Advocate Review: 92 points
"The 2007 Chateau Musar, the flagship estate red, is the typical, roughly equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault, aged for 12 months in French oak. Adding a much needed layer of concentration to the Hochar also reviewed this issue, this also provides more focus and intensity, while still seeming to be a civilized Musar. Finishing with complexity, earthy nuances and a gamey hint, it is a relatively polished Musar that shows both finesse and flavor on the finish. After opening rather soft and reticent, the underlying power emerged strongly. There are tannins lurking underneath, of course. Add the acidity, providing some steel and intensity, and this becomes a completely different wine with three hours of decanting, up to and including, what seemed to me to be a high-toned nuance, a hint of Amarone that, hopefully, stays under control. With the right food match, you might not notice. Like most Musars, this is a bottling that has a lot of stuff going on. Take it for what it is. In any event, if I didn't have it in front of me at home the whole time, I'd think someone had switched my glasses from start to finish. It went from "nice" to "it's Musar!" It should age pretty nicely – they always do – but this opened so well that I would not chastise anyone who decided to dive in now. That said, as this became more powerful and astringent with decanting, it certainly demonstrated that it will benefit from more cellaring. It also proved that it could use another year or two to settle down. Let's take the aging curve in stages. Drink 2016-2032."