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Hawkes Bay Cabernet Franc "Howell Family Vineyard", Pyramid Valley Vineyard 2011


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This easily compares to some of the most complex Loire Cabernet Francs from Clos Rougeard, Philippe Alliet, and Pierre Breton. Full and ripe cassis and figs, as well as dried aromatic herbs with balsamic notes. Really smooth and a pleasure to drink. As winemaker Mike Weersing says, "It's fascinating to see just how complex and complete a Cabernet Franc can be in its pure state, with no reliance upon additions, new oak, etc." Amen. 100% Cabernet Franc from very low yields, hand-harvested, vinified with natural yeasts and without any additives and no addition of sulfure, then aged in neutral French oak casks. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. Extraordinary wine!

"Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2011 Growers Collection Howell Family Vineyard Cabernet Franc presents an earthy, meaty nose with notes of chargrilled meat, game and mossy bark over a core of warm red currants and red plums. Full-bodied and richly fruited in the mouth, there's a pleasant, dried berry and spicy character that comes through on the palate and is supported by a medium level of velvety tannins and balanced acidity. It finishes with great length. Drink it now to 2018+." 92+/100 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate