This match pits a Washington state Pinot Noir against a Burgundy from France.
The matchup was inspired by the Paris-Nice stage race which rode through the Burgundy region of France earlier this week. I scoured my cellar searching for likely Luchadors to represent Washington and France. After last week's total dominance by the OS Winery Bordeaux style blend I thought this would be an opportunity for France to regain some Wine Luchador cred.
NV Hard Row to Hoe Pinot Noir v. 2006 Louis Jadot Côte de Beaune Villages
Tale of the tape
Hard Row to Hoe Pinot Noir NV - 50/50 blend of 2008/2009 Pinot Noir from the Lake Chelan AVA Purchased at the winery for $26
2006 Louis Jadot Côte de Beaune Villages
100% Pinot Noir from the Cote de Beaune region of France. Purchased through the Invino website for $14.99 (advertised as 50% off normal retail).
Round 1. First Opening:
Hard Row to Hoe on first opening the nose has lots of bright cherry fruit with an earthy barnyard & peat nose. The palate is tart cherries, strawberry and rhubarb with some notes of cedar on the finish.
Louis Jadot on first opening the nose is red berries and light pepper spice with a palate of dry red cherries and mouth drying finish.
Round 1 goes to Hard Row to Hoe
Round 2. One hour after Opening:
Hard Row to Hoe develops a nice bold cherry tartness with notes of cedar, salt & pepper and lightly smoked meats.
Louis Jadot develops some deeper raspberry and some salt & pepper on the nose and palate. Getting a bit rounder, but still a nice bright expression of Pinot Noir style.
Round 2 goes to Hard Row to Hoe with a body slam of boldness on the French challenger.
Round 3. One day later
Hard Row to Hoe continues to grow bigger and bolder. There is loads of dark plum, dark cherry on the nose and palate with some spice box and light pepper.
One day later and the Louis Jadot remained pretty consistent with the round 2 notes.
Round 3 goes to Hard Row to Hoe.
Wrap up and over all observations
The Washington Pinot was much bolder than the French contestant. However, I will say that the Louis Jadot is a better representation of the Pinot/Burgundy style with plenty of bright red fruit on the nose and palate. This wine would be a great sipping wine sitting out on the patio in the middle of summer. For this I award a style point to Louis Jadot. And after all, aren't the French all about style?
Unfortunately for our French Luchador, the Pacific NW does not see many warm sunny days. That makes the bolder expressions of the Hard Row Pinot a much better style for our home state.
Final tally: Hard Row to Hoe 3, Louis Jadot 1.
The Washington wine dominated the weaker entry from France. I give Hard Row to Hoe an 87 and the Louis Jadot an 85. A closer matchup than last week, but still a dominating performance from the WA State entry.