Pear Valley Vineyards 2017 Cabernet Franc, earned a Silver Medal by the Professional Judges and a Bronze Medal from People’s Choice Judges at the December 2020 Cabernet Franc Wine Competition hosted by California Wines and Wineries. This was a blind competition with two sets of judges in different areas. Wines were submitted from 14 states and numerous AVA’s from around the United States. For more on the wine competition sponsored by California Wines and Wineries see:
(picture from Pear Valley website)
Tom and Kathleen Maas started Pear Valley Vineyards in 1999 with 20 acres in Paso Robles, California. Today they own 113 acres. They have developed the land in a couple of marked phases after the initial acquisition. Key was in 2008, when they commence to build a 14,000 square foot winery and 5,000 square foot tasting room. The next critical phase was in 2012 when Pear Valley achieved Sustainability in Practice (SIP) Vineyard Certification. Receiving this certification comes with demonstrated dedication to vineyard practices that are “environmentally sound, socially equitable and economically-viable”.
(picture from Pear Valley Vineyards website)
The reason the Cabernet Franc is only one of the gem’s is that their production variety is outstanding. Their red wines include: Pinot Noir, Grenache, a GSM blend, Zinfandel, Barbera, Charbono, Malbec, Aglianico, Nero D’Avola, a Bordeaux style blend and Petite Sirah. Their white wine offerings include: Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay (both oaked and stainless steel), Albarino, Viognier and Rosé. Additionally, they offer dessert wines and port-style wines. Something for all tastes in wines.
Pear Valley Vineyards has a known reputation in the “California wine world” for producing excellent wines. However this was the first time I had tasted the 2017 Pear Valley Vineyards Cabernet Franc. On eyes, I knew a nice treat was about to happen with a very deep ruby color in the glass, with medium viscosity. On the nose, raspberry and nutmeg awoke the senses. Once on the palate is where the fireworks began with hints of blueberry, freshly tanned leather, cherry and vanilla pipe tobacco. Initially until “warmed up” it was soft and round on the finish with little herbaceous, but warmed up from the cellar, the muted pyrazines and mildly angular tannins came to the party to produce a lingering finish and showing an affirmative structure. BTW, this wine contains 85% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. Currently their 2018 is offered on their website at $27. That is a lot of wine for the price for such a delightful experience.
The Food and Wine Pairing
Paired with a cool winter evening comfort meal of seasoned cube steak enhanced with red pepper flakes, a Yukon Gold potato and fresh garden salad. It was sufficiently strong enough with the meal. After dinner we enjoyed another glass of the wine and the soft and rounded presentation was perfect as a standalone Cabernet Franc to be sipped.
Since they did such a solid production of Cabernet Franc, I am now eager to try their Charbono, Nero D’ Avola, Aglianico and their oaked Chardonnay!