WCC Blind Tasting of Chateau Musar and Château Montrose
Salty's Pub & Bistro, Clifton Park, NY

My Albany area group gathered to taste wines provided by one generous member (Larry S). The wines were served totally blind. That is, we were told absolutely nothing about the wines before or during the tasting.

Click on any image for a much larger view of that image (which may contain more picture).

John Marzilli and his staff prepared an excellent and abundant meal to go with the wines.

John Marzilli chats with Joel.

Flight 1: 1970s Musar
Soup & Sandwich: Terrine and Consommé of Rabbit with Cranberry Mustarda and Cornichone.

Second Food Course
Truffled Sea Scallops Wrapped in Savoy Cabbage with Celery Root Purée and Purple Asparagus.

Jared inhales that truffle aroma.

Flight 2: 1983 and 1986 Musar and Montrose
Carrot & Gjetost Salad with Green Grape Verjus, Maple Yogurt, Baby Amaranth, Bulls Blood Radish Greens, and Clover. Gjetost ("Yay-toast") is a very creamy, sweet Norwegian goat cheese.

Chef Ryan tells us about the food.

Flight 3: 1989 and 1990 Musar and Montrose
Fig-stuffed Breast of Duck with Parsnip amp; Brussel Sprout Hash, Sweet Potato and Cracklings.

Flight 4: 1999 and 2000 Musar and Montrose
Ragout of Oxtail and Crispy Honeycomb of Tripe, with Forest Mushroom Polenta and Warm Veal Vinaigrette.

Local Hudson Valley Cheese Course
A Goat Cheese Stuffed Pepper, Honey-Laced Bleu Cheese, Fall-Spiced Cheddar with Clove, and Poached Pear.


This was a wonderful experience. It is certainly challenging to taste wines totally blind and have to make up your own mind without external clues. It's like reading or watching a great mystery that you can't fully appreciate until the very end.

In this case, I was quite sure by flight 3 that these were all Old World-style Cabernet-based wines. I thought most likely Bordeaux, but something hinted that they could be Spanish or Italian. Guess I had to go a little farther east for the Musar.

Notes posted from CellarTracker.

The Wineries

According to the winery website,
Chateau Musar Red is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan and Cinsault from vineyards near the Bekaa Valley villages of Aana and Kefraya on gravelly soils over limestone. Planted from the 1930s onwards, yields are low from these mature bushvines (average age: 40 years): 35hl per hectare. The varietal components in Chateau Musar Red undergo lengthy fermentations in cement vats at temperatures below 30°C. 6 months after the harvest they are transferred into French barrels (oak from the forest of Nevers) for one year. The varietal components are brought together two years after the harvest; the resulting blend is then placed back in cement tanks before being bottled 12 months later. Each wine is blended to reflect the character of the vintage. After 4 years’ bottle maturation in the deep stone cellars of Chateau Musar, the finished wines are released a full seven years after the harvest.
The amount of each of the three grapes varies from vintage to vintage. Much more on this winery can be found in this Decanter article by Andrew Jefford.

According to various sources, the vineyard of Château Montrose is planted with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and just 2% Petit Verdot. The blend in the final grand vin can vary from year to year. The second wine, La Dame de Montrose, usually contains just Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

WOTN Voting (3pts each for #1, 2pts for #2, 1pt for #3)

1121970 Ch. Musar
2101989 Ch. Montrose
381983 Ch. Musar
471972 Ch. Musar
5(tie)51990 Ch. Montrose
5(tie)51989 Ch. Musar
5(tie)52000 Ch. Musar
8(tie)41975 Ch. Musar
8(tie)41983 Ch. Montrose
8(tie)42000 Ch. Montrose
1131990 Ch. Musar
12(tie)11986 Ch. Montrose
12(tie)11999 Ch. Musar




All original content © Ken Vastola