Pearson Cabernet Franc 2002
Cabernet Franc from Clare Valley, Australia
The grapes all come from Pearson's five-acre vineyard in the center of the Clare Valley. The easterly facing vineyards surrounded by hills are grown on deep well drained soils eliminating the need for irrigation. Fruit for this wine was harvested from Pearson's older vines which are 60 years plus.
This medium bodied Cabernet Franc is deep red with aromas of raspberries and cedar. It is slightly herbaceous, with blackberry flavors and fine tannins. Enjoy with spaghetti bolognese or chili con carne. This wine is ready to drink now, but could age for another 5-8 years.
Jim Pearson, the owner, manager, viticulturist and winemaker of Pearson Vineyards, is considered by many to be the "Garagiste" of the Clare Valley. And when he's not busy growing grapes and making wine, he runs the tasting room and sells wine at the cellar door. Jim makes the wine in a little shed next to his house. The facilities may not be impressive, but the wines certainly are. Pearson Vineyards currently offers two very special reds, a Cabernet Franc and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Both are full, rich flavorful wines that offer a great deal of complexity without a lot of oak.
Jim Pearson started his winery in 1993 with the goal of making very small batches of very good wines. His goal hasn't changed since then. Typically, Pearson Vineyards produces only 1,000 to 1,400 cases of wine per year. Jim begins with grapes that he grows himself — 100 percent come from his five-acre vineyard. The vines are dry grown, hand pruned and hand picked. After harvest, Jim uses a simple, old-fashioned, screw-driven basket press. This produces a lower extraction level than with power-driven presses. As a result, Pearson wines tend to have rich, velvety, intense flavors without sour or bitter tannic notes.
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About Clare Valley
Known for its Rieslings, the wines of Clare Valley are distinctive. The Riesling here is dry, dry, dry. Delicate yet firm, these wines won't remind you of Germany or Alsace - they have a character all their own. The lime and mineral flavors, paired with zesty acidity, make the wine perfect for summer sipping or pairing with seafood.
Notable Facts Since this is still Australia, let's not leave out Shiraz... Clare Valley does produce red wines and they are well made and tasty. Despite the fairly warm temperatures, the acidity in Clare Valley red wines are typically higher than wines produced further south. Good structure is a key characteristic, making Clare Valley wines ideal for pairing with food.
Like the United States, which is about the same size, Australia's winemaking regions are huddled into one or two pockets of the country. The state of South Australia, which produces about 60% of the country's wine, also has the most wineries and sub-regions, including McLaren Vale
, Clare Valley
and Barossa Valley
. New South Wales is home to the Hunter Valley
, while the smaller, southern state of
is best known for theYarra Valley
. Head way west to the very large state of Western Australia and you'll find the tiny region of Margaret River
at the southern tip.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.