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Hawke's Bay Cabernet Franc "Howell Family Vineyard--Growers Collection", Pyramid Valley 2007


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A revelation! As expressive and complex as the greatest Loire Cabernet Francs. The old vines in the 1.9 acre parcel farmed organically and biodynamically, then vinified with little manipulation and as naturally as possible resulted in a wine of incredible depth and concentration. The expressive quality of the Cabernet Franc in its beautiful aromatics and spice and herbal tinged dark fruits come through. Graceful and long. This is absolutely stunning quality. Enclosed in screwcap. Just 280 cases produced.

"This has a wonderful nose: black cherries, plum and a touch of cooked meats--well defined with no peppery elements normally associated with Cabernet Franc. The palate is ripe, almost over-ripe with sweet black plum, macerated cherries and a honeyish note towards the svelte, weighty finish. Perhaps it does not need to be pushed so hard?" 90/100 Neal Martin, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

"Deep ruby/black, with purple lights. Hugely perfumed: fruit, violets and furred game, and a tapenade-like mix of olive, black pepper, and herbs, especially savory and thyme. Black fruits turn redder with air: blackberry morphing to raspberry. Prettily floral and just slightly feral at the same time: hare served at a table set with irises. Layered and lush, both dense and plush: a weighted pile of velvet. Far-reaching flavors of raspberry, clove, bramble and brine; and mouth-coating, powder-fine tannins. Surprisingly fresh and cool, given the ripeness of the fruit. Finishes fine and concise and long, after the almost bawdy mid-palate sweetness." Mike Weersing, winemaker