Sunday, August 14, 2011

Washington Grenache v. Spanish Garnacha

It sees like the Tour de France just ended and here we are one week away from the Vuelta Espana starting!  Many of the pro teams will be doing recon rides preparing for the three week race through Spain.  Our matchup this week is a preview of things to come - a Washington State Grenache from Walla Walla takes on an old vines Garnacha from the Calatayud DO in Spain.

2009 Vinyl Wines EQ v. 2009 Evodia Garnacha

Tale of the Tape

Vinyl Wines EQ

100% Grenache sourced from Cockburn ranch in Walla Walla.  Aged for 16 months in third fill French Oak.

Purchased from Bin 41 for $25 during a wine tasting with the wine maker, Chip McLaughlin.

Altovinum Evodia Garnacha

100% old vine Garnacha (up to 100 years old) in the village of Atea.  Tank aged.

Purchased from Esquin for 9.99.

Round 1.  First Opening:

The Vinyl EQ has a nose of red berries, some light smoke, earth and macha green tea.  The palate is also showing sweet red berries with some nice cedar spice box and a sweet cherry bark acidic finish with some hints of green tea.

The Evodia is much darker, brooding with currant, black cherry fruit and spices on the nose with a palate of primarily black cherry and a sweet acidic finish with some drying cedar at the end.

Vinyl EQ takes round one showing a complex range of kung fu that the Evodia is not able to match.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

The EQ is cranking the knobs up toward eleven with a nose of sweet-n-sour red berries, strawberries and tart cedar spice with some espresso bean lingering in the background.  The palate is showing off more of the green tea character mixed in with red berries and Asian spices.  The finish is nicely tart with similar green tea and notes of cherry bark.

The Evodia is bold, with a nose of dark fruit, black cherry, licorice and menthol spice.  The palate is also showing black cherry, some tea and cedar spices with a dry cedar spice box finish.

The Evodia came out swinging in round two with body blows and an attempt at delivering some double fisted pain.  The show of force was easily countered by the EQ's spinning leg sweep knocking the brutish Old Vines to the mat. 

Down, but not out, Evodia loses round two but seems to be gathering forces for a final showdown in round three.

Round 3. One day later

The EQ has maintained much of its complexity still showing many layers of subtle power.  The nose has maintained the sweet red berry character along with cedar and spice.  The palate is also showing the ripe red berry character with some notes of tea and sandal wood with a dry finish.

The Evodia is also still going strong with a nose of dark fruit, dusty leather and under brush with a palate of sweet dark berries and a tart slightly dry finish

Round three goes to the Vinyl Wines EQ for a clean sweep of all three rounds in the match.

Wrap up and over all observations

This was an interesting matchup.  The Grenache from Walla Walla showed many layers of complexity that continued to evolve over the three rounds in the match.  The Old Vines Garnacha was big and bold, but tended to remain in a narrower style band.

I liked both of these Luchadors, although their styles were considerably different.  In the end the Vinyl Wines EQ took the tournament three rounds to zero, but that doesn't tell the whole story.  Like most contests, there is more to the bout than the final score!

I give the Vinyl Wines EQ an 88 and the Evodia Garnacha an 86.

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