Château Kefraya, the second largest winery in the Beqaa Valley (Lebanon), recently earned the highest wine grade in the history of Lebanese wines with Comte de M 2009. American wine critic Robert Parker commanded the public's attention towards Comte de M when he awarded this newly acclaimed red wine with a total of 92 points out of 100.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: Robert Parker is arguably the world's most influential wine critic. His bi-monthly newsletter 'The Wine Advocate' was first published in 1978, and now has a profound effect on both prices and market demand for fine wines around the world. Parker uses a 100-point wine scoring scale. Parker's tastings are done in peer-group, single-blind conditions, which mean that the same types of wine are tasted at the same time, although the producer of each wine is not disclosed at the time of the tasting. Each wine is given an initial 50 points. General color and appearance can merit up to 5 points. Aroma and bouquet are worth up to 15 points. Flavor and finish account for up to 20 points. Finally, the 'overall quality level or potential for further evolution and improvement-aging' merit up to 10 points. Parker explains his ratings as below:
|96–100||An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. I think wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase and consume.|
|90–95||An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. I consider these terrific wines.|
|80–89||A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor, as well as character with no noticeable flaws.|
|70–79||An average wine with little distinction except that it is soundly made. In short a straightforward, innocuous wine.|
|60–69||A below average wine containing noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavor, or possibly dirty aromas or flavors.|
|50–59||A wine I deem unacceptable.|
Robert Parker's influence on fine wine prices cannot be overstated. As an observer once noted, 'When Robert Parker spits, the world listens.' Historically, the wines that Robert Parker scores highest (particularly those awarded more than 90 points) tend to be the wines that show the biggest increase in value. Many Bordeaux producers now wait for Parker's ratings before setting the release price of their wines. Many wines are now produced in styles specifically designed to win 'Parker points'.
Comte de M is a dry red wine that has been aged for 16 months. It consists of two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and one-third Syrah. Quoting form The Wine Advocate: "It showed some steel and the oak began to be absorbed"; " There was some purity of fruit coming through. This rather rich wine is not a simpleton… becoming more powerful and serious as time goes on." This is what he had to say:
“The 2009 Comte De M is a blend of approximately two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and one third Syrah, aged for 16 months in French oak (85% new). This is a big boy this year, powerful, beautifully structured, ripe and concentrated. The gorgeous fruit is simply delicious, although admittedly a bit too marked by oak at the moment. It should easily have enough of an aging curve to absorb it. In fact, as I let it sit, it showed some steel and the oak began to be absorbed. There was some purity of fruit coming through. This rather rich wine is not a simpleton. It is also well-supported by its backbone, becoming more powerful and serious as time goes on. There is a little astringency at the moment. It will be interesting to see how well this develops in the cellar, but it certainly promises to be fantastic in a year or three when it settles down. It is not quite at peak now, but it is certainly approachable if you give it some air. Kefraya has a winner here and it is attractively priced, too. Drink now-2023.”