Love the phrase “p*ssing on anyone’s chips”
Indeed! I would say that recent changes have been towards more consistency and less “excitement”. That probably makes the wine more marketable.
One needs to look for a “basket of wines” at a comparable quality level to use as a metric of inflation over the last 40 years or so and then compare. Has anyone done this?
I’d agree - this may be one of those wines were its fans categorically do not wish it to ‘move on’ - ie deviate from what has made us fall for it in the first place, with all its idiosyncrasies and the lengthy debate about what degree of VA constitutes a fault for one and an enhancement for another - how many other wines have a thread devoted to just them with 1000 posts?! - if ‘moving on’ means becoming more ‘modern’ - polished, anodyne, flawless but concomitantly bereft of character and its sense of place, story and uniqueness. There are literally 10000 other wines one can buy instead - why force this one into this fold too?
This is regardless of price - though I don’t want to see it rise further! - but one would need to pose the question why this wine that can age positively for 20-40 years and is expressive of vintage and place would retail for GBP30 when an ‘equivalent’ Bordeaux would retail for GBP100 and a Burgundy for GBP300+++. Horses for courses. If that’s the world we’re looking at, Musar will continue to have my loyalty.
And the Rose and the White are just as interesting - arguably more so ! - and cost less - so maybe I’ll switch my buying - currently 75% Musar red, the rest its White and Rose every year (well, every year the Rose is made) - to be the other way round.
But I am rambling … sorry. Musar does trigger this in me!
I can’t agree with this comment enough. Thank you, @AnaGramWords, this phrase will take a revered place in my office lexicon.
Savory, fruity, not as funky as some vintages, perfect with a burger grilled in the Big Green Egg
Apologies for the double post. Weekday drinking 03-07 April 2023 - #33 by wine.arbitrageur
Indexing for future me
Yikes! Just spoke with my pusher who says he should be able to do me a better price, but that the handover has not been handled well. I would hope that TWS should be offering at abour £40?
Lets see what happens… thats quite an increase. I remember getting them for £15 in the late 00s
But even GBP40 is a 33% increase year on year! I am loyal to Musar to a fault but that is really stretching it! I’d be very upset at breaking my vertical run since '94 but … ouch. Might stock up (some more…) on '16 before this one comes out. Sad times. Wonder if the white will shoot up too; and more generally whether SUCH a steep sudden hike will cost them all sorts of customers. Shame.
Well I think the price hike has been in the offing for a while. Just last month Waitrose Cellar had one of their 25% off 6 bottles or more promotions which brought down the Musar 2016 price to £24.86/bottle, which was not to be sneezed at.
Divine Fine Wine are offering it now at £34.95/bottle.
Thanks - can’t see it on their list yet?
Alan may well not have updated the website, but this offer came as an email.
Very impressed - I emailed Ch Musar to point out that even my fairly fierce and long-standing loyalty might end up being stretched by several merchants charging up to GBP50 suddenly, and who should reply but Marc Hochar himself. For anyone interested, here’s his email:
Dear Dr Muller
Thank you very much for having been a fan of our wines for so long and for your candour in reaching out to us with your feedback about pricing of the new 2017 vintage.
There are many circumstances that have led to a large increase in the UK pricing of our current Chateau Musar red 2017 vintage from a market average of around GBP35 last year to around GBP43/45 this year. They include dealing with increased costs from our European raw material suppliers, much higher transport costs to and from Lebanon, hyper-inflation within Lebanon, currency losses on several currencies including the British Pound that negatively impacted us, and finally the fact that we have limited supplies of wine. You may not be aware but the last couple of vintages (2015 & 2016) have been sold exclusively on an allocation basis to the wine trade, the first time we have had to work in this way because of smaller production years in Lebanon and increased demand. During the last 5 years, we have been selling through most of the stock of our back vintages; in the past, we had great stocks of slightly older vintages and customers could choose pretty much any vintage they wanted and at reasonable prices as we had decent stocks. Now however, a large majority of our older vintages have been sold, the current vintage is almost completely sold out by the time we finish the year’s sales whereas we used to keep around 20% to 25% in stock for our library, and the remaining old vintages have become rarities for us to release from the winery, and for customers to find in the secondary market. This has all but put more pressure on the new 2017 vintage release pricing, allocation and worldwide availability.
We are conscious that it will unfortunately have an impact on the ability of some of our loyal UK customers to purchase the wines at an affordable price. We have however further developed UK sales of our other wines which are all made with the same philosophy as our premium “Chateau Musar” label, in particular the Hochar Pere et Fils and Aana labels that are tweaked blends of the premium label yet with a grenache component, and that also have an ability to develop and age around 15 to 20 years, even if they are sold at a younger age. We hope you will have the opportunity to taste those wines as well, and to continue to enjoy to the extent possible our premium label “Chateau Musar”.
We remain at your disposal should you require any further information, and thank you again for your loyalty in these changing times for our winery.
With kind regards
I’m not sure if I’m really buying that. Coupled with the links above about ending their in house distribution in the UK in favour of Fells and selling to more market’s like china, there’s less for the UK and middlemen to be paid. Not that the things they mention don’t also factor in, but it’s a steep increase.
I wont be fobbed off onto their lesser wines either. Tourelle’s and Ksara are excellent, Kefraya was when you could get it, there’s so many smaller ones like Ixsir and Nakad too. Let’s see if they have a massive price increase.
Interesting. Some of that lines up with what I’ve noticed over the past year; ie their release of library vintages, and that the latest vintages being released a year earlier than previously. I can appreciate what he is saying; the past three years has thrown everything in the air and I know I’m not the only one who has re-evaluated and asked questions about what I do with my time / where I live etc, and made big changes that I wouldn’t have otherwise done. And this isn’t going to be too different to the people running any business or organisation, and hence how they run it.
it’s still good value for the quality. i’m not wildly bothered, it’s their prerogative if the demand is there and our prerogative as consumers whether we want to purchase
Musar is regularly touted for its excellent quality, and often compared favourably to wines costing twice the price or more.
Given it is made in a warzone, in a country with well publicised severe political and economic issues, the fact they can make it, let alone ship it over here should be applauded.
Complaining that they are increasing its price to a point still below where one would expect to pay for a wine of similar quality from pretty much anywhere else in the world strikes me as rather poor.
No one forces us to buy the wine, and if we do not like the price we can buy something else. In my opinion the reason people complain so much about Musar prices increasing is because they realise their little corner of QPR is coming to an end.
Do not be angry that the good times have passed, just be grateful you got to experience them at all.