Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Washington Bordeaux Style Blend v. California

Things are getting down right silly with the pro cycling teams.  Some are pretending to be Israeli Commandos.  Others are jumping out of airplanes.  Why?  To develop the bonds that will make them feel like a team?  More like, to prove that they will do whatever their Directeur Sportif tells them to do.  And that they are willing to sacrifice whatever it takes for "the Capo."

Whatever the reason, it is safe to say that things are in deed pretty silly.  To honor the strange, unusual and the silly this week's Lucha Vino matchup features a Bordeaux style blend from Washington taking on a California Borudeax style blend with a twist.

Washington 2007 High Tower Red Mountain Red v. California 2007 Audelssa Tephra

Tale of the Tape

2007 Audelssa Tephra

Sonoma Valley AVA

55% Cabernet Sauvignon
30% Syrah
10% Merlot
5% Zinfandel

Aged in 40% new French oak barrels and an additional 12 months in bottle.

Purchased at Bin 41 for $27.99

 2007 High Tower Red Mountain Red

Just like the name says from the Red Mountain AVA
53% from Shaw Vineyard and 47% from Out of Line Estate Vineyard

63% Cabernet Sauvignon
11% Merlot
16% Cabernet Franc
5% Petit Verdot
5% Malbec

Aged for 20 months in oak barrels.

Purchased from Garagiste as a Mystery Wine.

With relatively equal parts of the two boss grapes Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot this battle could come down to how the California Syrah and Zinfandel matchup against the Washington Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.  Let's get it on!

Round 1.  First Opening

The Audelssa springs from the top rope with a signature half gainer with a twist.  The nose is medium red berries, earth, leather and light hints of spice.  The palate is medium red berries and clove spices that continue on to a slightly tart and spicy finish.

When will you learn not to mess with Officer High Tower?  This luchador has a spicy temperament showing a nose of dark fruit, currant, earth and some funky forest floor.  The palate is equally evil with dark stone fruit and a serious spicy clove finish.

The battle is fierce between these two red blends with High Tower taking the first round with a slight edge on points.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

Audelssa still has a spring in its step showing a nose of medium red fruit and light cedar spices with a touch of hot alcohol.  The palate is also showing medium red fruit and spicy tart cedar notes that carry on to the finish.

High Tower is demonstrating strength and power with a nose that is deep dark and brooding with earthy spiciness.  The palate is dark fruit, bitter sweet chocolate and tart spiced finish.

Another close round with Audelssa dancing around the ring and playing some rope-a-dope working to avoid the the High Tower thunder.  A good survival tactic, but not one for winning.  High Tower is the aggressor and earns the points for round 2 from the judges.

Round 3. One day later

Audelssa made it to the third round and is looking for some late match fireworks.  The nose is bright red berries, raspberry, loganberry, earth, leather and light pepper.  The palate shows off the same red berry character with earthy brambles and a slightly tart and spicy finish.

High Tower stomps into the ring showing this luchador still has plenty of power in the tank.  The nose is dark fruit, earth and candle wax with some savory soy sauce notes.  The palate is big as well showing dark fruit and some pepper and menthol spices finishing off with a bit of cloves and cedar tartness.

Audelssa made it to round three and launched a gallant attack on High Tower.  In the end, the strategy was not enough to topple the giant from Red Mountain.  High Tower takes round three and the match 3-0.

Wrap up and over all observations

This was a closer match than the score would indicate.  Audelssa narrowly missed taking the points in all three rounds.  The Syrah + Zinfandel duo added more medium bodied brightness to the battle while the Cab Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec really brought out some serious bruising character in the Red Mountain Red.

I give the High Tower Red Mountain Red aan 89 and the Audelssa an 88.

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