Monday, August 1, 2011

Washington Syrah v. Australian Shiraz

Well, Cadel Evans finally put it all together and won the Tour de France.  Congratulations Cadel!  Here is a great review of how Cadel won the tour.

To honor Cadel this week's matchup has an Australian Shiraz taking on a Washington state Syrah from the Columbia Valley.

2006 Tatiarra Caravan of Dreams Shiraz v. 2007 Rotie Cellars Northern Rhone Syrah

Both of these links are to the Winery's websites, but for different vintages then those that stepped into the Lucha Vino ring.  More specific vintage notes are below in the tale of the tape.

Tale of the Tape

Tatiarra Caravan of Dreams Shiraz

100% Cambrian Shiraz aged for 18 months in American Oak.

Purchased from Garagiste. 

Rotie Cellars Northern Rhone Syrah

97% Syrah co-fermented with 3% Viognier from the Columbia Valley.

Purchased from Cellar 46 for $28.99.

Round 1.  First Opening:

The Rotie Cellars nose has dark red fruit with a smoky pepper character.  The palate is showing similar dark fruit notes along with licorice and some spices, the licorice and spice both linger on to the finish.

The Tatiarra Caravan of Dreams seems to be lost in a dream.  I'm not picking up a whole lot on the nose, showing some light red berries and a bit of play dough in the background.  The palate has medium weight red berries and some pepper that lingers on to a slightly dry finish.

The Rotie Cellars takes this round without much resistance from the Caravan of Dreams.  Let's hope the Shiraz wakes up and joins the battle.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

The Rotie is showing a nose of dark fruit, smoked meats and pepper with a palate of dark red fruit, and cedar spice box notes that continue on to a somewhat spicy finish.

The Caravan finally rubbed the sleep out of its eyes and is ready to get down to business.  The nose is really expressive with cocoa, licorice and spices galore.  The palate is similar with a spicy sweet finish.

Both of these Luchadors stepped up their game in round two.  The Shiraz takes round two getting up off the mat with an aggressive response to the wake up call in round one.

Round 3. One day later

The Rotie Cellars entrant is continuing to build with the nose still showing dark fruit, smoked meats and pepper along with some interesting floral notes.  The palate is big black fruit, cola, cocoa and asian spices that continue on to the finish.  Rotie has gained some strength.  Will it be enough to fight back and take the final round of our match?

The Tatiarra has gone through another significant transformation with the nose showing mostly licorice and flowers with a bit of cocoa.  The palate is similar to the nose with a black cherry cola finish.

Round 3 is a really close call.  Both of the combatants have held strong into the final round of our match.  Interestingly, both have developed some floral characteristics.  Interesting, but not necessarily persuasive in a wrestling match (or a bike race).

Round 3 goes to the Rotie Cellars Northern Blend by the slimmest of margins and also the match with a score of 2 - 1. 

Wrap up and over all observations

This was one of the closest Lucha Vino matches yet.  There is always next time for the Big Australian.  Cadel Evans can certainly attest to this and my sense is he would say "keep fighting for another day!"

I give the Rotie Cellars Northern Blend an 88 and the Tatiarra Caravan of Dreams an 87.

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