Monday, July 18, 2011

Washington Syrah v. Cotes-du-Rhone

The Tour de France is tracing a route through the south of France and the Languedoc-Roussillon wine region.  They have finished up three stages in the Pyrenes mountains and complete their second week with a sprint stage finishing in Montpellier.

Robert Millar has another good review of the racing that has happened so far.

The Lucha Vino tour challenge continues with a Syrah smackdown featuring a Washington State Syrah from the Columbia Valley taking on a Cotes-du-Rhone.  This matchup was inspired by Hestia Cellars and Esquin.  Thanks for the assistance on making the Luchador selections for this week.

2008 Hestia Cellars Syrah v. 2010 Saint Cosme Cotes-Du-Rhone

Tale of the tape

2008 Hestia Cellars Syrah

97% Syrah and 3% Viognier.  The Syrah is sourced from two vineyards 70% StoneTree Vineyard, 30% Andrews Ranch Vineyard.  The Viognier is all sourced from Andrews Ranch.

Purchased at Esquin for $28.99

2010 Saint Cosme Cotes-Du-Rhone

100% Syrah from the Cotes-Du-Rhone region Vin Sobres AOC and aged in clay vats. Here are the Wine Maker's notes.

Purchased at Esquin for $14.99.

Round 1.  First Opening:

The Hestia Cellars is showing a nose of dark rich fruit, smoked meat, menthol and clove spices.  The palate show similar dark fruits, cloves and a rich spiced finish.  

The St. Cosme has a nose of dark fruit, pepper, some tart floral notes and hints of baking spices.  The palate is full of dark currants, black cherries and some tart smokey traces that trail off into a lightly spicy sweet finish.

This round was really close.  The Hestia is big and spicy, while the Saint Cosme is flashing a bit more panache' emulating the leader of the Tour de France, Thomas Voekler.  The Lucha Vino rules follow the rules of wrestling, not bike racing.  That means the Hestia Cellars Syrah takes round 1 as a result of its bigger, badder character, earning the nick name "The Crusher" in the process.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

The Crusher just stepped into the ring and threw down a huge double bicep pose.  The nose is showing dark fruit, black cherry, clove spice and semisweet chocolate notes.  The palate is similar dark fruit, black cherry, cloves and light cocoa that moves on to a slightly dry finish that includes some spicy cedar and clove.

The nose on the St. Cosme has buttery red fruit up front with some light pepper and floral notes on the back end.  The palate is dark stone fruit with some dry cedar notes that carry over to a dry finish.

Round 2 is more decisive with the Hestia Cellars really opening up and living large. While the St. Cosme has built some muscle, it is no match for The Crusher who just delivered a devastating pile driver.  The St. Cosme is wiley and I expect it to come back and put up a fight in round 3.

Round 3. One day later

The Hestia Cellars is still showing off its bruising style.  The nose is dark berries, floral salt and pepper with some toffee and espresso character.  The palate shows black cherry fruit with cinnamon and cocoa with an espresso bean finish.

St. Cosme is looking to sneak up on The Crusher in the third round.  The nose is showing deep dark fruit with pepper and light smoke.  The palate is similar with notes of cedar and spice that goes on to a slightly dry finish.

Both wines held up well over night for round three.  The Hestia Cellars takes round three by maintaining most of the muscle noted during round two.

Wrap up and over all observations

The Washington Syrah was bigger and bolder while the Cotes-du-Rhone showed some serious style and panache'  This match was closer than the 2-1 score would indicate.  Two solid Luchadors traded some serious blows with the Hestia Cellars Crusher coming out victorious.

I give the Hestia Cellars Syrah an 88 and the St. Cosme Cotes-du-Rhone an 87.

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