Sunday, August 28, 2011

Washington Tinto v. Ribera del Duero

The Vuelta Espana worked its way through Southern Spain last week and took a right hand turn through La Mancha and is headed in the direction of the Ribera del Duero region.  There has been quite a bit of climbing for the first week of a Grand Tour.  The Spanish riders are motivated to show well, and hopefully win, their home race.  Up until today El Purito (Joaquin Rodriguez) had the leader's Red Jersey.  He is in 2nd place trailing by one second.  There should be a major shake up in the race lead with the 40 km Individual Time Trial in Salamanca on Monday.

This week's Vuelta Espana Lucha Vino matchup features a 2006 Bodegas Lopez Cristobal Ribera del Duero v. a 2008 Pomum Cellars Tinto.

Tale of the Tape

Bodegas Lopez Cristobal Ribera del Duero

90% Tempranillo, 5% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.  Aged for 12 months in 50% American and 50% French Oak and then another 12 months in bottle.

Purchased from Bin 41 for $30.

Pomum Cellars Tinto

77% Tempranillo, 9% Garnacha, 9% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Purchased from Full Pull wines for $21.99.

Round 1.  First Opening:

The Lopez Cristobal is showing a nose of red fruit, leather, light spices and a bit of funkiness.  The palate is full of cedar spice box and red berries with a dry spicy finish

The Pomum Cellars Tinto has a nose of deep red black fruit, mineral and funky forest floor with a palate of dark fruits and a spicy dry finish.

Both luchadors showed a dry finish of cedar and spices.  The Washington State Tinto is a bit bolder and the Spanish Ribera del Duero showed a bit more complexity on the nose.  Very close with a slight edge going to the Cristobal for showing more diversity in its attack.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

The Cristobal Nose has mysteriously vanished with only a slight trace of some barnyard funk.  The palate has deepened showing currants and some cedar tannins with less spice on a finish that is still quite dry.

The Tinto is showing a nose of red fruit, pepper, asian spices and some light buttery character.  The palate is also demonstrating rich currants and pepper spices with a much smoother cedar spice box finish.

We had to send the officials down to the dressing room to see if the Cristobal was still in the building.  The Washington State Tinto takes round 2 with ease.

The crowd is wondering if the Ribera del Duero has thrown in the towel or if it will return for the final round.  Oh the drama...

Round 3. One day later

The Cristobal came raging back for round three with a nose of smoke, dusty dark fruit and cracked pepper.  The palate is showing some dusty floral notes with dark berries and a slightly acidic finish.

The Tinto has also builked up over night.  The nose is earth, leather, dark fruit and a bit of soy sauce and cedar spices.  The palate is red fruit and dry cedar spice box.  The dry finish has really mellowed over night.

With a surprise turn around the Cristobal narrowly edged out the Pomum Cellars Tinto.  Some observers may be calling for some Performance Enhancing Drug testing after this comeback by the Spanish Luchador.

Wrap up and over all observations

This was a close match with a surprise comeback for the Ribera del Duero in the third round giving the Cristobal a 2-1 victory over the Pomum Cellars Tinto.  You would almost think this match had been scripted and that wrestling isn't real!!

Both Luchadors were solid and I give them both an 87.

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