Sunday, April 24, 2011

Washington Pinot v. Italy

The final tune up for the pros getting ready for the Giro d' Italia was this week - the Giro del Trentino in North East Italy.  I had a Pinot Nero from Piedmont in my cellar and decided Piedmont was close enough to the Giro del Trentiono route to represent Italy in this week's contest.

2009 Vin du Lac Red Cafe Pinot Noir v. 2007 Icardi Pinot Nero Nej

Tale of the tape

2007 Icardi Pinot Nero Nej

From the Langhe Docg in Piedmont Italy.  100% Pinot Nero aged for 15 months in new French Oak and an additional 12 months in bottle.
Purchased for $25.80 from Garagiste.

2009 Vin du Lac Red Cafe Pinot Noir
Mysterious, the winery's website is not displaying any details about the 2009 Pinot Noir.
Purchased for $16 through the Wine Club.

Round 1.  First Opening:

The Icardi is dark purple in color with a nose of baking spice, red plum and a bit of leather.  The palate is tart bright light red huckleberries with a finish that is showing similar tart light berry character.  It seems really tight. 

The Vin du Lac is lighter in color with a nose that is showing strawberry, smoked meat and some spices.  The palate is creamy strawberry with some tart cedar notes that show more on the finish before trailing off with more creamy red berry notes.

Right out of the gate the Vin du Lac is more interesting, but the Icardi is hinting at more to come in the later rounds.

Round 1 goes to Vin du Lac.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening:

The Icardi has really opened up showing dark fruit. plum and cedar spice on the nose with black cherry, a touch of menthol on the palate rounding out with a slightly tart finish.

The Vin du Lac nose is still showing a red fruit and smokey nose that now also has some elements of peat bog.  The palate is strawberry, light smoked meats and some cedar tartness that continues on to the finish along with some salt and pepper.

This round was much closer than round 1 and the Icardi takes it due to growth in character as opposed to the Vin du Lac which remained pretty close to the same as when first opened.

Round 2 goes to Icardi. 

Round 3. One day later

The Icardi has continued to build its character.  Getting bigger and bolder, the Italian Luchador is stomping all over our Washington representative which has continued to hold on to its initial characteristics.

Icardi has a nose of dark fruit, chalk and baking spice.  The palate is rich dark fruit and cedar baking spice with a nice lightly tart cedar spice finish.

The Vin du Lac is showing a nose of smokey strawberries with a touch of salt and pepper.  The palate is lighter red berry fruit with a touch of cedar that continues on to the finish.

Round 3 goes to Icardi.

Wrap up and over all observations

A close match with the victory going to Icardi 2 rounds to 1.  I give credit to the Vin du Lac for sticking close to the original character over 2 days, but consistency does not work out well for Washington this week when compared to the Piedmont Pinot Nero which continued to build and get bigger over time.

The price point on these two Luchadors was not as close as I thought it was.  I suspect that shows in the results, although our Washington State contendor showed very well against the more expensive entrant from Italy.  I would rate the Icardi an 87 and the Vin du Lac an 86.

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