Just after my last post on the wines of Massaya I learned that a local wine merchant, Reserve, was to hold a tasting of Massaya wines with Ramzi Ghosn. On the night Ramzi turned out to be Sami, but everything else went according to plan. Here are some brief notes by way of a postscript to my earlier article.
I did not like the Blanc and Rosé wines at all. We tried the 2009s. The white was not oxidised like the 2005 reported on earlier, but lacking in acidity and fruit. I also found it slightly astringent. The Rosé tasted spirity, and both were a pretty hefty 13.5%. In marked contrast to how Musar present their whites, even Sami seemed to be quite keen to pass over these wines quickly and move onto the proper stuff. Some people at the tasting liked the Rosé, but I give both these wines a pretty miserable *
Then we moved onto the Classic Red 2007 – my house red, which I wrote about at length in my last post on Massaya. On Thursday I was missing the chocolate and coffee notes I often get, but otherwise it was the wine I know and love, so ***
If someone had told me that the Silver Selection 2005 was a Claret I think I would have believed them, even though the blend was dominated by Grenache. It was a good solid wine with decent dark fruit, acidity and tannin. Excellent length, with a spicy finish. Not unpleasant to drink now, and a bit more accessible than the 2004 it seems, but I would ideally keep this one several years. More than a tad of Brett, but it added to the wine rather than detracted ***
We then tried 3 Gold Reserve vintages: 2005, 2001 and 2000. The 2005 was another good solid dark fruit wine, that ideally needs more time ****. I could easily imagine that in 4 years time it would evolve into something like the 2001, which was lovely, and ripe for drinking in my opinion. The 2001 had started to develop mature notes, and the tannins were smoothing out to create what was quite a classy wine. Again perhaps a tad Bretty, but pleasantly so. For the 2001 I’d give *****. I did not like the 2000, but others in the room did not see anything wrong with it. I thought it was starting to fall apart. The aromatics were dominated by Brett, there was little fruit, and alcohol and tannin dominated the palate **
These wines were only available on special order from Reserve, but for the record here are the prices: £12.50 for the Blanc, Rosé and Classic Red; £17.00 for the Silver Selection; and around £30.00 for the Gold Reserve vintages. Average market prices for these wines are in my opinion on the high side, and these prices are definitely top end of the market. But at the rock bottom levels of Hailsham Cellars I think you get value for money. It seems that Athur Rackham, where I bought my Classic Red for £7.50, has gone out of business 🙁