I like to experiment, trying wines from lesser known countries and regions. Wine is made in many countries all over the world yet a number of those wines are rarely available in local wine stores. Or if available, you will find only a very limited choice. Greece makes many wines, yet Greek wines can be difficult to find locally. And when you can find them, there might only be 3 or 4 wines available. And if you seek wines from places like Hungary, Estonia, India or Lebanon, you will have to hunt long and far to find them. Yet wines from these areas can be quite good.
While at Astor Wines in NYC, I found wines from many of these lesser known countries. I bought a 2003 Musar Cuvee Rouge ($18) from the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. Lebanon wine making extends back thousands of years. Wine making continues today, despite the problems of war that have plagued that country. This wine is the second wine of Chateau Musar, one of their most famous wineries.
The wine is a blend of Cinsault, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. This wine is very French in style, very Old World. It is a more subdued wine and not a fruit bomb. On the palate, there are tastes of red fruits, a little spice and some earthiness. All of the flavors seem to compliment each other. There is complexity but you need to pay careful attention to the wine as it won't jump out at you. If you are used to California or Australian wines, this wine might seem bland but it is not bland. It is just a different style of wine. If you love French wines, then you will definitely enjoy this.
I enjoyed it very much and think it would be a good food wine as well. I would recommend this as a Drink & Buy.