2007 Pyramid Valley "Howell Family" Cabernet Franc Hawkes Bay

SKU #1063981 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 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?  (9/2009)

K&L Notes

Mike and Claudia Weersing, owners and winemakers at Pyramid Valley Vineyards, make some of our favorite New Zealand wines. Their terroir-driven Pinots, Chardonnays and Rieslings shouldn't be missed, and this Cabernet Franc from the Howell Family Vineyard is really something special. Incredibly aromatic, scents of black olive, black pepper, wild game and violet frame black fruit on the nose. On the palate, the wine is dense, revealing layers of briar fruit, violets, herbs, spice and mineral. Fine tannins and juicy acidity round out the sweet mid-palate fruit.

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Price: $22.99
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Cabernet Franc

- While Cabernet Franc, a parent with Sauvignon Blanc to the ubiquitous Cabernet Sauvignon, frequently plays second fiddle in Bordeaux blends (though it does get more props on the Right Bank, where it dominates Cheval Blanc), this lighter, higher acid/lower tannin, early-maturing, perfumed red varietal is far from a wallflower. It is the headliner in the Loire Valley appellations of Saumur-Champigny, Bourgueil, St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Chinon and Anjou-Villages, where it makes exceptional, food-friendly wines. Outside of France, Cabernet Franc can be found in northern Italy, particularly in Friuli and in California where it is frequently used as a blending grape in Bordeaux-style wines. Heartier in the cold than Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc is gaining a foothold in northern and eastern wine regions like Canada, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.