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Chateau Musar 1997, Decanting & My Brother in Law

practically it is carnivores and coffee beans, but see your point

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Think they use the results from that in Hershey :smiley:

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That made me chuckle! Please accept my heartfelt condolences…

It also prompted me to rush out and buy a bottle of the 2003 from Waitrose, for my Sunday lunch, so very glad you shared your pain.

I’ve only tried it myself once before in a Lebanese restaurant, and we sent it back because we thought it must be corked, but this has helped me repress that memory, and I’m looking forward to a succulent treat tomorrow.


On a related note (to decanting, not wine theft luckily!), I opened a bottle of 2001 Musar at the weekend, the last of three (bought from Waitrose in December 2019). The first two had all needed a day or two to come round to their best so I was expecting to open it and leave it. But this one was completely different. I could tell as soon as I pulled the cork and decanted the wine, a beautiful bouquet filled the room. I had to taste it and it was exquisite straight away. It continued to be wonderful all evening, one of my most memorable wine experiences. I held some back and it was still good - but not as good - on day 2 and 3.

Any thoughts on why this bottle was so different from the first two? I’m intrigued.


Ah the wonderous creature that is the Brother in Law. Despite my gifts of red wine and forlorn attempts at expanding his wine horizons, my BiL has been in steadfast denial of his true wine love. Until now. Over the last few months he has felt comfortable enough to share with us that his one true love is… Rose. With that in mind we have bought him a Christmas present that will for the first time, hopefully, tickle his fancy - Bollinger Rose


Have a read of the Chateau Musar Advice thread elsewhere on here., there’s a whole discussion about how long to leave it before drinking…….my conclusion after reading it: everyone has a different opinion so do what makes you fell happy! I should be more rigorous in my experimentation though. I’ll start by experimenting further tonight

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Yes, I remember that thread and had a look for it before posting my comment - but was unable to find it for some reason…

Try this thread, @ASmith:

Chateau Musar, advice


Thank you for resurrecting this post though!

There’s significant bottle variation in the world of Musar. At home i’d always decant in advance but I’ve had a 2003 served from straight the bottle in a restaurant (when it was released, maybe 2009?) and it was incredible. Makes you question everything!


I fear my BiL is more of a Guinness slurper rather than a Bollinger Rose sipper.

Still, looking back on that post, I am sighing in memory of happier times and lesser problems.

The BiL is actually here today as I write, it being the FiLs Birthday. However, he will have to dash back to the Smoke in order to slip back in to the metropolis before tonight’s midnight Tier 2 prohibition on mixing households.

Good for my remaining stocks of Musar no doubt but no opportunity for him to sneak to the Turn Right for a few jars before the Boris Bell chimes its miserable curfew. Will the Turn Right (or the Turn Left for that matter) still be trading next time he comes? The loss of a bottle of (admittedly treasured) CM seems so unimportant 2 and a bit years later.

I shall open a bottle of 1999 that I got in the WS mixed case for him and the FiL tonight and watch as he glugs it down and not resent it one bit…………now, I can’t remember, did you all say to open it now, just before the meal or 3 days ago…….?!!


That’s a great attitude, and the perfect way to think about the situation right now.

Depending who you listen to, could be all of the above. As ever with wine, see what you think when you open the bottle (which I would do now). Decant and shake vigorously; double decant and come back in a week; or just stick the cork back in and drink as soon as the thirst comes upon you.


Coincidentally, I fancied Musar this weekend and thought it would be fun to compare a couple of different vintages.

I have a few to chose from but decided on these two years for reasons that presently escape me.

Plan on decanting both first-thing in the morning with a view to drinking them from 5ish onward and through Sunday.


Please give your tasting impressions.

The dedication of TWS members is something to behold.

As I watch my son play football ( losing 1-0) I have a troubling image of GWiIIs sitting there with the 2008 and 2003 open in front of him, not having slept since 5 on Friday night, only a third of the way through his drinking shift.

Fortitude my friend, fortitude, you will get through the morning afternoon and night and then you’ll be on the home straight with just the day of rest to drink through

I can report that the 1999- possibly my last wine from the last century ( nay Millenium) ever- was appreciated by all. Broke the damn cork on opening of course. On decanting, surprisingly little sediment and that beautiful orangey, reddy colour you get with a wine of age. Fading somewhat probably & not sure would last much longer so glad we drank up when we did. Wonderfully subtle tannins, soft leathery, complex hints of cherry with gentle oak. A joy that is making me salivate as I write. The 2010 opened to follow up was therefore somewhat of a shock at first. I read somewhere else on this forum that CM can at first be a touch wild & that was my first impression of this. It packs more youthful power and punch than the 99 - more “acidy” maybe- but settled well as the steak was munched.

How are you conducting your experiment GWiIis? Is it one glass of each at regular intervals or one bottle at a time?


That’s made me smile! A 48 hour Musarathon would be taking dedication to new levels.

This morning’s decant was a little delayed as I was a trifle late surfacing following last night’s excesses which ended with a 12% stout in the early hours!

Bottles finally uncorked at 9am.

Surprise 1 -Both corks in good condition and came out cleanly. Just as well as I probably would not have been in the best frame of mind for a battle with a broken cork, or two.

Surprise 2 - The ‘03 seemed good to go straight off the bat. Have never encountered a Musar with such a clean, precise and enveloping nose immediately on opening. A cheeky mouthful after the decant confirmed its approachability. Beginning to think my faculties may be impaired after last night’s excesses.

Non-Surprise - The ‘08. Nose is all brett and usual Musar funkiness. Earth is back on its axis. Appearance is a little hazy but may be down to my lack of steadiness during the decant.

Both wines have sat in their respective decanters all day and the drinking will commence after the Rugby League on tv this afternoon for which bitter is the order of the day. None of your namby pamby grape juice when viewing this. :wink:

Plan is to quietly sip away all evening but aim to leave a half bottle of each for tomorrow. Pretty sure it won’t be an all nighter but can’t say that I’m not tempted!

Oh, forgot to say, there is a venison casserole making an appearance later which promises to be a great match.


All round to GWills for the weekend I say…sounds fantastic


Anyone tried or with a view on the 2013 musar, currently on the TWS list? (or the 1977 for that matter!).

The 1977 is a castle in the air for me! I have 3 of the '13s but I doubt I’ll open any for a good few years yet. Fortunately I have a good few older vintages back to '99 and one '97 (might be past it though) slumbering away.

I would add that TWS give 2020-2030 but the recent Musar book gives it out to 2040.


If it’s in a wine rack, in my view, it’s permissible to open.
I’ve thought of two options to mitigate:
I) Stash special stuff away somewhere too difficult for a 2am rummage, or
b) A sticker? I recall the simple but unambiguous text of a colleague’s Windows screensaver from the late 90s: “TOUCH = DEATH”.

To add, I have a n=1 anecdotal experience of “older wine undergoes rapid development once opened”.
The details are from memory, apologies for the lack of detail/precision.

I was fortunate around 2012ish to attend with esteemed colleagues a small tasting in London at a wine bar that was an ex-Oddbins under Holborn Viaduct. Found in storage at that location were a number of aged St Emilion (1960s onwards), but too few bottles to make up an offer, so a tasting was born.

During the tasting, one wine we universally agreed was really rather lovely suddenly was turned into complete yuk, over the period of 10-15 minutes sat in the glass. We were most surprised.

The wines had been decanted in advance, but I don’t know whether it/they were was sat around for a short time or long.

Of course, this affect may have been specific to St Emilion, that year, that producer, that bottle, that location - who knows. Caveat Decantor, perhaps?

This was the first (and only) time I have experienced this phenomenon, perhaps as I don’t have the opportunity to access wines of that age often.