Monday, December 26, 2011

Washington BDX Blend v. Tuscany

Why should French Bordeaux get to have a stranglehold on this particular style of blended red wines?

Giorgia Bronzini, the UCI Women's Road Racing World Champion, is making a similar statement this week.  Why isn't her World Champion Jersey considered the equal of Mark Cavendish's World Champion Jersey.  She has a legit claim and points out a fundamental inequity in professional sports.  Men get paid more than Women in the same sport.  Why?  Advertising and sponsor dollars seem to be at the root of most answers.

That brings me back to my original question.  Why do the French get to lay claim to a particular style of wine making?  Much like Bronzini, the Italians have been showing their disdain for the French by making the very same style of wine in Tuscany.  The Super Tuscan wines are double rebels, striking out against the restrictive Italian DOC wine making requirements AND flaunting their style at the French.  And just like a professional wrestler, the Super Tuscans have proven their ability to take the authorities to task applying wine making skill that equals the power of a Suplex.

This week's Lucha Vino matchup features Bordeaux style blends with Cabernet Franc supplying the bulk of the muscle.

Fall Line 2007 Exhibition v. Tenuta di Trinoro 2007 le Cupole

Tale of the Tape

2007 Tenuta di Trinoro 2007 le Cupole

40 % Cabernet Franc
22% Cabernet Sauvignon
30% Merlot
8% Petit Verdot

Aged for 8 months in 2nd, 3rd and 4th use French oak barrels and an additional 10 months in cement.

Purchased from Garagiste for $19.99

2007 Fall Line Exhibition

46% Cabernet Franc
22% Merlot
18% Cabernet Sauvignon
14% Petit Verdot

The grapes were sourced from the Aldercreek (Horse Heaven Hills), Artz (Red Mountain) and Boushey (Yakima Valley) vineyards.

Aged for 18 months in 42% new French oak barrels.

Purchased at the winery for $20.00

Round 1.  First Opening

Le Cupole seems to be lacking interest in this confrontation.  Like a jaded actor, this Luchador seems to be asking "What's my motivation?"  The nose shows notes of medium red berries, clove and dusty brambles.  The palate is unusually dry, showing dry red berries and a tart cherry bark finish.

The Exhibition is well named putting on an exhibition of strength with a nose of currants, logan berry, clove and hints of buttery cocoa.  The palate also shows juicy currant and logan berry with a finish that features some coffee bean and light notes of semisweet chocolate.  The longer you hang around you start to notice some buttered popcorn character.  (Is the Exhibition kicking back and enjoying some popcorn while waiting for the Tuscan to remember its lines?)

The Le Cupole definitely did not live up to expectations for a blend with Cab Franc as the dominant grape.  The Exhibition rose to the occasion and took the first round with relative ease.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

What's this?  Le Cupole has awakened!  Rising from the mat le Cupole is showing some interest with a nose of herbal spices, dusty brambles and dark berries.  The palate is brooding with dark logan berries and a brambly dark tart spiced finish.

The Exhibition is going toe to toe with the revitalized Tuscan.  The nose has dark smokey fruit and cracked pepper character with a palate of dark fruit and a tart finish that features coffee bean and light notes of cocoa.

The judges had to go to the review booth on this round as the action in the ring was nearly dead even.  Le Cupole takes the round as a result of new found motivation and points awarded by the judges for coming back from the land of the lost.

Two rounds into the match this fight is even up with both Luchadors having earned one point.  On to the third and decisive round.  The winner will take all!

Round 3. One day later

Le Cupole is showing remarkable stamina with a nose that features dusty raspberries, logan berries and a slight brambly funkiness.  The palate is similar with juicy red berries, brambles and light cedar spices that trail off into a tart sweet cherry bark finish.

The Exhibition is leaving nothing to chance muscling up for the final round with a nose that has evolved to feature earthy notes of dark fruit and buttery leather.  The palate is also showing earthy dark fruit and cracked pepper that continues on to the finish rounding out with some buttery savoriness.

This round was close with the Exhibition showing greater muscle and strength, thus taking the final round and the match.

Wrap up and over all observations

The le Cupole from Tuscany didn't deliver on my expectations for a Bordeaux style blend dominated by Cabernet Franc out of the gate.  As the match heated up the le Cupole began to rise to the challenge.

On the flip side.  The Fall Line Exhibition hit the ring ready to rumble.  It left no doubt as to the strength and character of the Cabernet Franc in the mix.  In the end this strength and stamina carried the Exhibition to the top step of the podium and victory.

The le Cupole shows promise and I will check back with my other bottle in about a year to see how it has evolved in the cellar.

I give the le Cupole an 87 based on potential for the future and the Exhibition an 88 for the here and now.

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