Thursday, November 24, 2011

Washington State Cabernet Cage Match

This week is affectionately referred to as "rivalry week" and we're talking College Football not Jeff Novitzky v Lance Armstrong.  Since the pro cyclists are taking a break right now I will honor Rivalry Week by hosting my own version of the Apple Cup.

Last weekend was Apple Cup weekend in Washington featuring the 104th rivalry football game between the University of Washington Huskies and the Washington State University Cougars.  In honor of this battle for state supremacy the Lucha Vino challenge features a wine maker from Walla Walla v. a wine maker from Vashon Island in an East v. West fued.

You might be protesting right about now, saying "Hey!  All the grapes are from the East side of the state.  How can you call this a true East v. West rivalry?"  To this I say "Good question, but I make up the rules and my rules say winery location determines what side of the state you are from."

Dunham Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon v. Andrew Will 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

Tale of the Tape

Dunham Cellars 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Lewis Estate Vineyard, Frenchtown Estate Vineyard,
Double River Estate Vineyard and Phinny Hill Vineyard.

Aged in 80% French Oak and 20% American Oak barrels.

Purchased for $28.00 at Corky Cellars.

Andrew Will 2007 Mays Discovery Cabernet Sauvignon

100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Discovery Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA

Aged in 30% new French Oak barrels for 21 months.

Purchased for $28.99 from Full Pull Wines.

Round 1.  First Opening

Andrew Will fires off with a nose of rich plum, currant and dusty light spices.  The palate is dark sweet currant with a sweet cedar spice box finish.

Dunham counter attacks with a nose featuring currant, peat and mineral notes.  The palate is big rich dark currants,  chocolate and clove spices that linger on to the finish.

Andrew Will is showing some style and finesse.  Dunham does not really notice barging into the fray dropping elbows and knees taking round one and putting Andrew in a spot of bother.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

Andrew Will is recovering and bringing some power to the fight with a nose showing dark currant, smoke and a little spice.  The palate is equally bold with currant, cocoa and spices that go on to finish.

Dunham raises an eyebrow as if to say "OK tough guy.  Game on."  The nose has character of sour peat, currant and cedar spices.  The palate is building strength with currants  and some toffee & espresso bean tartness with clove spices on the finish.

Round 2 is closer with Andrew Will showing some great resilience.  Dunham rises to the challenge squeaking out the points to take the second round.

Round 3. One day later

Andrew Will is not intimidated adding some kung fu to its bag of tricks.  The nose has developed currant, clove spices, menthol and bitter chocolate with some subtle hints of lemon in the background.  The palate is showing currant, black cherry, clove and cinnamon spices with a tart dry finish.

Dunham rises to the challenge sending Andrew Will to the brink of elimination with a nose of currant, dark fruit, peat, cinnamon and hints of coffee.  The palate is also showing currant, black cherry, clove and espresso bean spices with a tart cedar spiced clove finish.

This has been a close, impressive clash of Cabernet titans.  Dunham was dominant winning all three rounds after taking some extreme heat from Andrew Will, especially in round 2 and 3.

Wrap up and over all observations

What else could you expect from Washington Cabernet Sauvignon?  Bruising heavy weights dukeing it out in the ring, both with a "take no prisoners" attitude.  In the end the Dunham Cellars brought more to the fight and barely hung on to take all three rounds.

Both of these Luchadors continued to build character and power over the duration of the match.  For this demonstration of strength and cunning I give each wine an 89.  The Dunham earned this score based on power and intimidation.  The Andrew Will earned the same score based on character, finesse and strength.  Showing the ability to build over time.

1 comment:

  1. impressive AW disco luchador given his youth...he barely fills out his mask and cape at just three leafs old...a couple more years and he may start winning rounds(and need a bigger cape)