This past week featured the Giro del Trentino, a final tune up and recon mission for those pros racing the Giro d' Italia in May. The Giro del Trentino takes place in Northern Italy and covers some wicked mountain passes. The Giro d' Italia will visit some of the same terrain in the final week of the racing.
This past week gave the pros an opportunity to test their legs and see how their competition is stacking up for the first grand tour of the year. It also gave me an opportunity to prepare for the Giro and explore some Pinot Nero from Trentino.
This week's Luchavino matchup features a Pinot Noir from Vashon Island Washington taking on a Pinot Nero challenger from Trentino Italy.
2009 Vashon Island Pinot Noir v. 2008 Maso Poli Pinot Nero
Tale of the Tape
2009 Vashon Island Pinot Noir
100% Pinot Noir from Monument Farm Vineyard on Vashon Island.
Purchased at Esquin for $27.99
Here is a great story about the vineyard and their first harvest (2009).
2008 Maso Poli Trentino Pinot Nero
100% Pinot Nero aged for 12 months in small oak barrels.
Purchased at Esquin for $24.99
Round 1. First Opening
Vashon Island is light on its feet, bounding into the ring displaying some old school Pinot kung fu style. The nose is lively with strawberries, rhubarb and notes of slightly smoky earth. The palate is showing sweet strawberry and light notes of saltiness with a nice tart cherry finish.
Maso Poli has some serious Italian swagger with a nose of dark salted cherries, smoke and dusty earth. The palate is a bit lighter with notes of cherry, raspberry and tart Asian spices that transition on to a nice tart lightly spicy finish.
These Luchadors are showing different styles right off the bat. The Vashon Island is showing some legit medium bodied and slightly spicy Pinot style while the Maso Poli is definitely showcasing some bold Italian style.
This round was close, but the Trentino took the round based on it bold swagger.
Round 2. One hour after Opening
Vashon is building some complexity with sweet smoky strawberry and some salty seaweed on the nose. The palate is full of raspberry, strawberry with some smoky saltiness that leads on to a tart lightly peppery finish.
The Maso Poli is smoothing out a bit with a nose featuring raspberry and light creamy salted hazelnut. The palate is ripening up a bit with raspberry and tart rhubarb with a tart cedar cherry bark finish.
This round goes to Vashon as a result of the depth and complexity of its kung fu.
Round 3. One day after Opening
This match is is all tied up going into the final round and neither one of the Lucahdors is showing any signs of slowing down.
Vashon Island is changing things up again with a nose of cedar, brambles and dusty dried red berries. The palate is also showing dried red berries with spicy menthol clove spices and a tart sweet eucalyptus finish.
The Maso Poli isn't falling for the shift in style or any diversionary ninja tactics. The nose is smoky funky red fruit and cracked pepper. The palate is creamy red berries with a tart light peppery finish that includes some notes of hazelnut.
This round is really tough to call. Once again we are going to have to go to the judges cards as the ref can't make a determination on his own. After consulting with the judges the round goes to Vashon Island based on uniqueness of character and style.
Wrap up and over all observations
This was a great match. Both Luchadors were strong from start to finish showing off the character of their respective regions. I was really impressed with the Pinot grown right here on Vashon Island - who would have thunk it!
I give both of these Pinots a solid 88.