Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Washington Tempranillo v. Navarra Tempranillo

Well would you look at this!  The UCI Cyclocross World Cup made a trip to Spain this past weekend.  That means it is time to bust out a little Tempranillo Tornado.  The World Cup race was in Igorre which is in the Northern Basque region of Spain.  The winner of the race gets to wear a crazy hat with three points called a txapela.  Not exactly what you might call stylish.  Hopefully, our challenger from the Navarra wine region will look better after this match than Kevin Pauwels or Chris Horner did in that lid...

This week features Washington Tempranillo v. Spanish Tempranillo from the Navarra DO.

Fall Line 2009 Tampranillo v. Ochoa Tempranillo Crianza 2006

Tale of the Tape

Ochoa Tempranillo Crianza 2006

100% single vineyard Tempranillo

Aged for 12 months in American Oak Barrels.

Purchased at the Spanish Table for $16.99

 Fall Line 2009 Tempranillo

This is the first vintage for Fall Line's Tempranillo, 100% Tempranillo from the Boushey Vineyard in the Yakima Valley.

Aged for 18 months in 14% new French Oak Barrels

Purchased at the Fall Line winery's release party for $25.00.

Round 1.  First Opening

The Ochoa has a nose of dusty leather and cherries with a palate that is showing lots of tart cherry with some light notes of spice in the background.  The finish is dry and slightly acidic at the end.

El Otro oozes confidence even though this is its first trip into the ring.  The nose shows character of dust, earth, light smoke and ripe red raspberry and cherry notes.  The palate is dark rich currant, cherry and clove spices on a nice tart finish.

El Otro has a name made for Lucha Libre and doesn't disappoint easily taking round one over an opponent that is already showing signs of being over matched.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

The Ochoa is doing its best to bulk up and take the fight to El Otro.  Ochoa is showing a nose with more character including some barnyard funk, musty forest floor and mushroom with dark fruit and a hint of spice.  The palate is dark fruit with cedar cigar box spices and a dry tart finish.

El Otro storms into the ring with some brute force showing a nose that is driven by savory, smokey dark fruit with some notes of mineral.  The palate is equally bold with dark currant and smoked meats with a dry cedar finish.

Props to Ochoa for stepping up its game, but it is still no match for our Washington State Luchador.  El Otro takes round 2 for a 2-0 lead.

Round 3. One day later

The Ochoa has lost some of the spring in its step.  The nose has notes of earthy cranberry and the palate is predominantly cranberry tartness with a tart cherry bark finish.

El Otro is unveiling some sinister intentions.  The nose shows smoke, sandal wood and dark cherry along with some floral and cocoa notes.  The palate has dark cherry, leather and earthy clove and bitter sweet chocolate notes that linger on to a tart Asian cedar spice finish

Well played El Otro.  You may be called "The Other One" but in this competition you were Number One!

Wrap up and over all observations

This contest was really no contest from the opening bell.  I did not perform a background check on the Ochoa.  Selecting it as the challenger on first sight.  The only qualification I considered was being from the Navarra region of Spain.  Navarra may be close to Rioja, but based on this single sample I would say that Navarra has a lot of catching up to do with its more famous neighbor. 

El Otro showed no mercy and kicked some serious sand in the face of the challenger from Navarra.  The Washington State luchador showed an interesting evolution over the match gaining character and strength throughout.

I give the Fall Line El Otro a solid 89 and the Ochoa a generous 85.

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