Friday, November 18, 2011

Washington Garnacha v. Spain

There is a lot of early season racing in Spain as the pro peloton tries to stay dry and warm.  An interesting early season race series takes place in Mallorca.  There are 5 one day races that are run like a race series, yet no overall winner is declared by the race organizers.

Searching for some warm weather the Lucha Vino challenge opened a bottle of Garnacha from Monsant throwing down a big challenge to Washington state.  Idilico Garnacha stepped up to the challenge.  Let's see how this match turns out.

2008 Vespres v. 2009 Idilico Garnacha

Tale of the Tape

2008 Vespres

80% Garnacha and 20% Samso' (Carignan)

Aged for 8 - 10 months in French Oak Barrels

Purchased for $20 at Bottle House during tasting with Classical Wines.

2009 Idilico

100% Garnacha from Upland Vineyard on Snipes Mountain

Aged for 12 months in neutral French oak barrels. 

Purchased for $18.99 from Full Pull Wines.

Round 1.  First Opening

The Vespres jumps into the ring with a nose of rich red fruit, currant, savory toasty spices and hints of leather.  The palate shows tart red berries, leather and light spices with a dry finish.

Idilico starts out with a subtle attack featuring a nose of strawberries and some light toasty character.  The palate is showing slightly tart red berries with some hints of pepper and a bit of hazelnut on the finish.

Vespres wasted little time taking the fight to Idilico and earning the points for the first round.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

Vespres isn't slowing down with a nose of rich dark fruit, leather and floral notes.  The palate is dark fruit. cedar spices and a long tart spiced and slightly nutty finish.

Idilico is trying a myriad of styles to counter attack the Vespres.  This round Idilico is showing a nose of toasted red fruits and dark Asian spices.  The palate is dark currant, spices and a tart toffee, espresso bean and clove finish.

Idilico takes round two bobbing and weaving and stealing points when Vespres isn't looking.

Round 3. One day later

Vespres continues to step up its game with a nose of savory licorice, spices and cocoa.  The palate is also showing dark fruti, chocolate and spices that linger on to the toffee infused finish.

The legendary bull, Idilico,  may have defied the odds by surviving the bull fighting ring in Spain, but suffers a less glamorous fate in the final round of our match.  Showing a nose of barnyard, earth, red fruit and Asian spices with a palate of medium red fruit, clove and a finish of light nutty cedar. 

Idilico continues to put up an attack of varied and interesting styles, but has no retort for the power displayed by Vespres.

Wrap up and over all observations

Two great Luchador warriors entered the ring in this match.  Both displayed skill and stamina, building from one round to the next with the Vespres from Montsant taking the final round and the victory.

I give each of these wines a solid 89 for longevity and character.

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