Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Walla Walla Cross Town Throw Down

The Giro d'Italia is less than a week away and there is excitement in the air. Why? There are many reasons that the Giro stirs such emotion...
  • It is the first of the three grand tours (the others being the Tour de France and Vuelta Espana).
  • The start of the race coincides with what most Northern Hemisphere countries consider to be their Spring season.
  • The pace of the race is moderated by the Italian "Capos" which means that in the old days there were casual stops along the way for food and sustanance.
  • The Italian landscape is spectacular and you get to see a lot of it! Mountains, coastal areas and metropolitan centers.
  • The race has a certain style and flair to it that seems to be unique to Italy.
  • Every Italian bike racer dreams of winning their home tour.
Just like Italy is a hotbed for cycling, Walla Walla is a hotbed for Washington wine.  This unlikely giant, located in the far South East corner of Washington State, has generated a huge following and reputation for the Washington wine industry. You cannot talk about Washington wine without mentioning Walla Walla.

This week's matchup features two Walla Walla heavyweights in a cross town throw down. There are bragging rights on the line. Like the Italian bike racers, these Luchadors are high strung and highly motivated.  There are rumors of dirty dealing, rule bending and other underhanded behavior and that is before the match has even begun!

Like Mario Cipollini, who used to pull the race guide from his pocket and point out where the peloton was allowed to "race" over the day's route, these Luchadors may stoop to trickery to win this bout...

2006 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon v. 2006 Beresan Cabernet Sauvignon

Tale of the Tape
2006 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon

87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 2% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot

All estate grown with 
44% from Pepper Bridge Vineyard and 66% from the Seven Hills Vineyard

Aged for 21 months in 55% new French oak barrels.

Purchased from Lot18 for $30.

2006 Beresan Cabernet Sauvignon

100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the following estate vineyards:
Waliser Vineyard (59%), Yellow Jacket Vineyard (34%) with 7% Pepper Bridge Vineyard for good measure.

Aged for 21 months in 35% new French oak barrels.

Purchased from Garagiste for $19.99.

Round 1. First Opening.

Pepper Bridge is wound up tighter than a junior high schooler at their first school dance.  I'm not sure what is going on, but this Luchador has a serious case of nerves.  The nervous energy is charging the air with strangeness there is a weird fish scent on the nose along with flowers and rose petals.  The palate has character of currant, tart semisweet chocolate and a tart very dry finish.

There is no question that the Berasan is ready to rumble.  The nose is showing currant, smoke and some funk along with notes of dusty pepper and some nuttiness.  The palate is creamy rich currant and black cherry with some hazelnut and a  sweet cocoa finish that includes some hints of cedar tartness.

Round 1 goes to Beresan.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

The Pepper Bridge is burning off some of that nervous energy, but it still does not appear to be very comfortable in the ring.  The nose is dark cherry, light peat bog and a little cedar spice.  The palate is mostly currant with a really tart dry finish.

The Beresan shows no signs of slowing down with a nose of currant, peat and cocoa spices.  The palate also shows currant along with some mint and a tart coffee bean finish.

Another round for Beresan and a 2-0 lead.

Round 3. One day after Opening

The Pepper Bridge is starting to wake up, but will it be enough to score a knockout and take the victory?  The nose is mostly currant with some lean and light dustiness.  The palate is dark currant and cedar tinged brambles along with a bit of menthol and a dry tart finish.

The Beresan is taking it straight to Pepper Bridge dropping elbows and gouging eyes.  The nose is dusty brambles, dark fruit and some vegetal green pepper notes.  The palate is dark cherry, toffee and spices with a peppery finish that resolves to a bit of nuttiness.

The Beresan left no doubt dropping the hammer and taking the third round.

Wrap up and over all observations

The Beresan was ready to go and completely dominated this match.  The Pepper Bridge was tight throughout the battle.  This luchador could benefit from another couple of years in the cellar.

I give the Beresan a solid 88 and the Pepper Bridge an 85 now and expect it to score higher in future matches.

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