Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Past Bouts - Washington v. California

I figured that it would be entertaining to rebroadcast a previous match while I work on getting all the Luchadors lined up for the new season.

Match #1 Washington v. California: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Ch. Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Cab 2007 purchased at Safeway for $11.47 (30% discount)
Alexander Valley Vineyards Wetzel Family Estates Cab 2007 purchased at Costco for $13.79

Both wineries do not have the 2007 available so the links are to the 2008 vintage on both web sites.

Round 1: First Opening
Alexander Valley On first opening the nose consists of sour pie cherries with strong mineral notes. The palate is currant, toast and spice with a lingering cedar spice finish.

Ch. Ste. Michelle On first opening the nose consists of dust, pie cherry and mineral with some hints of cream.  The palate is tart cedar and blackberroes with a dry finish.

Round 1 Goes to Alexander Valley

Round 2:
Alexander Valley With air the nose develops dark currant notes as does the palate with a finish that has more toasty character to the spices.

Ch. Ste. Michelle With air the palate opens up with some more notes of spice on the palate and finish as the nose develops some floral notes and more currant. The palate continues to move toward currant and black cherry with some slight notes of cocoa.

Round 2 is even.  Both combatants proved to be equally bold after exposure to air.  Both are standing tall.

Round 3:
Alexander Valley On day 2 is holding up well and continues to display nice character of cedar spice box on the nose and palate.

Ch. Ste. Michelle On day 2 is still good, but has started to revert to some of the earlier character showing some more astringent berry notes and less of the current and cocoa.

It is close, but I give a slight edge and Round 3 to Alexander Valley.

Final tally:  Alexander Valley 3, Ch. Ste. Michelle 1

I would recommend both of these wines.  They were evenly matched and both were quite good.  I scored the Ch. Ste. Michelle an 86 and Alexander Valley an 87 on the Cellar Tracker scale, which makes them both Very Good.

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