Monday, July 25, 2011

Washington CdP v. Chatauneuf-du-Pape

Congratulations to Cadel Evans for winning this year's Tour de France!  The final week of the race included some great action, lots of aggressive riding and great drama.  Here is a review of how Cadel performed in each of the stages leading up to his overall victory.

The final week of the tour started in the South of France and moved Northeast.  Finishing a stage in Italy before heading back into the French Alps.  Back in the early 1300s the Pope moved the papacy to Southern France. This week's matchup features a Chateauneuf du Pape cage match in recognition of this unusual move and the route traced by the Tour de France's final week of racing.

2005 Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape v. 2005 Banneret CdP

Tale of the tape

2005 Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape

A blend of 56% Grenache 38% Syrah and 6% Cinsault from the Columbia Valley AVA.  Aged for 30 months in 40% new French Oak.

Purchased from Full Pull Wines for $31.49

2005 Domaine du Banneret  Chateauneuf du Pape

70% Grenache 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre

Purchased at Bin 41 for $37.99.

Round 1.  First Opening:

The Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape has a nose of cedar, dark fruit, baking spice, leather and some earth and dry twigs.  The palate is rich dark currants, clove, cinnamon and cocoa with some nice baking spice that moves in to the finish and finally ends with tart spicy cherries.

The Banneret CdP is showing a nose of mushroom, forest floor, baking spice, tobacco leaf and red fruit.  The palate has lots of tobacco leaf dry red fruit and a dry finish.

This round goes to the Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape taking the fight directly to the Banneret.  Both Luchadors are feisty, but showing very different styles that could make for an interesting battle in the later rounds.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

The Slice of Pape is getting stronger firing off round two with a nose of currant, baking spice, clove and espresso bean.  The palate is showing dark notes of chocolate, black fruit, licorice and clove spices that continue on to the finish.  This Luchador is dark and brooding, complex and demanding showing some style that indicates no mercy will be given.

The Banneret is crafty and consistent continuing to show a nose of tobacco leaf, red fruit and some barnyard funk is beginning to show through.  The palate has built more tobacco leaf character along with cedar tart red fruit and a tart finish.

Round 2 goes to Tranche Cellars again.  In a surprise move, the judges award a half point for style to the Banneret.

Round 3. One day later

The Slice of Pape is continuing to evolve with a nose of clean Asian spices and leather and a palate of rich black cherry, cloves, cocoa and semi-sweet chocolate with an espresso bean and spice finish.

The Banneret continues with its unique style showing a nose of tobacco leaf, cedar spices and sweet cherries.  The palate has hints of mushroom leading to tobacco leaf and cedar red fruits with a  tart cedar dry finish.

Round 3 goes to the Slice of Pape as it continues to evolve and take a new bigger and bolder approach to dominating the French Luchador in each round of the match.

The Banneret has been amazingly consistent through all three rounds.  Earning another half point for consistent style.

Wrap up and over all observations

Both of these wines proved to be worthy Luchadors.

The Washington Columbia Valley Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape dominated the match growing stronger with each subsequent round.  The Banneret was consistent throughout demonstrating a very interesting style dominated by the tobacco leaf characteristic.  The final tally in this match was 3 - 1 in favor of the Washington CdP with the French Luchador earning a point for style.

I give the Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape an 88 and the Banneret Chateauneuf du Pape an 87.

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