Thursday, May 17, 2012

Washington Sangiovese v. Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Once the Giro d' Italia hit Italy the racing got more interesting.  For me, one of the most exciting things is seeing North American riders spending more days in the Maglia Rosa than any other continent.  First Taylor Phinney of the USA and then Ryder Hesjedal from Canada have spent multiple days in the race leader's pink jersey.  Hesjedal is the first Canadian to ever wear the leader's jersey in the Giro and is a prime contender to win the overall when the race finishes up in Milan in another two weeks.

The route has been heading South along the Eastern edge of Italy.  The riders have raced through Emilia Romagna, Marches, Abruzzo and Molise wine regions.

This week the Lucha Vino challenge features a Montpulciano d'Abruzzo battling with a Washington State Sangiovese.  Celebrating Ryder Hesjedal, the first Canadian to wear the Maglia Rosa, this week's matchup is the first to pit two different grape varieties against one another.

2004 Kiona Reserve Sangiovese v. 2008 Nicodemi Montepulciano d'Abruzzo

Tale of the Tape

 Nicodemi Montepuliciano d'Abruzzo 2008

Unlike the Full Monty, there is not much detail available about this Luchador.

Like the X Files the truth about Nicodemi is out there...

Provided as a sample by Vinum Importing.  Available at retail for $16.99.

Kiona Reserve Sangiovese 2004

100% Sangiovese from the Kiona Red Mountain Estate Vineyard.

Aged in 20% new and 80% Neutral French and American Oak Barrels.

Purchased from Full Pull Wine for $17.99.

Round 1. First Opening

The Sangiovese from Kiona fires off an opening salvo featuring a nose of dusty pie cherry with some toasty nut character.  The palate is pie cherry with some creamy coconut notes and a slightly tart finish.

The Nicodemi Montepulciano grabs two hands full of Kiona and locks up the Sangiovese in a wicked full nelson.  The nose is loaded with dark cherry, currant, earth and creamy soy.  The palate is showing off mineral infused cherries with a slightly tart finish.

The Nicodemi is a raging brute storming to an early lead by taking round 1. 

Round 2. One hour after Opening

The Kiona is changing things up developing some fresh character and a bit of Kung Fu with a nose featuring dusty clean cedar and cherries with some light creamy nuttiness on the finish.  The palate is spicing things up with menthol and clove spices, cherries with subtle coconut that lingers on to a sweet nutty tart finish.

The Nicodemi is going Full Monty with a nose showing soy, sweet dark plum and some notes of cedar.  The palate is full of sweet dark plums, cherry and slight notes of coffee bean that lead to a tart cherry bark finish with a bit of earthiness.

This round was close with the Kiona launching a sneaky spice attack on the Nicodemi.  This round was mighty close with Kiona winning by a whisker tieing the score at 1 round a piece.

Round 3.  One day after Opening

The Kiona is showing some serious stamina building a steroid infused body.  The nose is loaded with dark cherry, dusty spices and notes of coffee bean.  The palate is also showing black cherry with toasted clove spices that carry over to a tart cedar finish with some hints of cocoa.

The Nicodemi is welcoming Kiona to the Gun Show striking a serious double bicep pose in the middle of the ring.  This Luchador is also boasting some serious stamina and strength.  The nose blasts off with clean roast coffee and dark fruit.  The palate shows tart black fruit, espresso bean and roasted nuts that ends with a tart finish.

Score round 3 for the Fully Monty from Nicodemi.  That makes the final score 2 rounds to 1 in favor of the Nicodemi. 

Wrap up and over all observations.

Both of these Luchadors were solid.  The Kiona continued to show more and more Red Mountain character as it was exposed to air.  The Nicodemi also continued to show well after multiple days of being open. Toward the end the palate took on some interesting tobacco character.

I give the Kiona and Nicodemi both a resounding 88.

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