A Complex and Juicy Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and SyrahThe Chateau Kefraya estate today includes more than 300 hectares of terraced vineyards, deeply rooted in the slopes of Mount Barouk in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. These vineyards are home to a wide range of varietals, which thrive in the various soil types that make up the estate's diverse mosaic of micro-terroirs. These vineyards are managed according to the principles of sustainable viticulture and minimal intervention. Following the philosophy of the estate's visionary founder Michel de Bustros, Chateau Kefraya specializes in the production of varietal blends, complex expressions of the estate's terroir. The Comte de M 2012 from Chateau Kefraya blends around 82% Cabernet Sauvignon (grown in clay and limestone soils) with 12% Syrah (from clay and silt), harvested from a vineyard of 9 hectares, located at 1,100 meters above sea level. The vinification of the wine takes place in 60 hectoliter oak barrels with a 5-week maceration period, which includes five days of cold pre-fermentation maceration to extract even more color from the skins. The blend is then matured for 24 months in mostly new French oak, with a small portion matured in cement vats.
The Comte de M 2012 by Chateau Kefraya has impressed critics with its fresh, full-bodied and complex character. On the nose, this wine offers fresh red fruits, like plum, along with hints of spice. On the mid-palate this Lebanese red wine is tight, with fabulous potential to evolve over time in the bottle. The acidity is fine and the tannins show off a beautiful structure on the palate, stretching into a long and powerful finish. A great wine to keep.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2012 Comte de M is about two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon and one-third Syrah, aged for 24 months in mostly (86%) new French oak (with about 10% of the juice also in cement vats). It comes in at just 13% alcohol. This seems like a potentially brilliant Comte de M, although it does need to answer some questions in the cellar. Up front, this combines finesse and focus, but it's hard to concentrate on that right now, because this is still affected by too much obvious oak and a bit of a hard, tannic edge. That will improve as this begins its rather long life in the cellar; the balance is actually exceptional here in most respects. It has plenty of power, but also the concentration to counter the power. Then, it adds complexity, the Syrah making its presence known. It can be approached now, but just barely, and you'd certainly be better off coming back in a couple of years. It did open up to some extent with aeration, showing fine intensity of flavor, too, although always controlled, dry and serious (and a little oak-tinged). The next day, it had calmed a bit, but was basically the same, so I decided to hold it for another day. Finally, on that third day, it pulled in some wood, showed even more finesse and a tight, precise finish. The only question now is where the ceiling is on this closed and unevolved red. It may not yet have shown us that, but let's be just a bit conservative at the moment in both evaluation and drinking windows. It may last longer than anticipated, but let's take that in stages.