This past weekend featured the National Championship races for the majority of the cycling world. Naturally, the big three wine countries were all featured over the weekend - France, Italy and Spain. This left me with a difficult choice, which country to visit this final weekend before the start of the Tour de France.
My choice landed me in Spain. With the Spanish National Championship Road Race taking place in Salamanca located in Castilla y Leon I selected the King D.O. - Ribera del Duero to represent the challenger.
2010 8 Bells Tempranillo v. 2008 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero Pruno
Tale of the Tape
2008 Finca Villacreces Ribera del Duero Pruno
The label says 90% Tempranillo 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from Estate grown grapes
The tech sheet says Tempranillo, Cabernet and Merlot (percentages not included)
Both agree on the barrel aging details:
Aged for 12 months in 2 year old French oak barrels.
Purchased at Bin 41 for $20
100% Tempranillo from the 31 Tempranillo vines on Red Willow Vineyards
Purchased at the winery for $31
Round 1 First Opening
The Pruno Punisher from Ribera del Duero is the first into the ring, high jumping the top rope and striking a pose in the middle of the ring. The Nose is showing cherries, earth and dusty light spices. The palate has dark cherry, all spice, and clove with a tannic spicy finish that includes hints of coffee bean and menthol.
The 8 Bells is deep and dark, reminiscent of a creature lurking in the deep and feeding on the souls of lost sailors. This bad boy is showing a nose of earthy, dusty, tar tinged dark red berries and cherries. The palate is full of cherry, clove and spices with a tart spicy coffee bean finish.
This round was close, ultimately the 8 bells won due to its aggressive approach in the ring.
Round 2 One hour after opening
The Pruno is bulking up. There could be some performance enhancing activities going on in the Pruno corner. The nose is pumped up with dark berries, roasted coffee and spices. The palate also features dark cherry fruit, cloves and tart spices with a tart spicy coffee bean and cedar finish.
The 8 Bells isn't backing down with a nose of roasted coffee, tar, salt and pepper and dark fruit. The palate is full of dark fruit, cherries and clove spices with a tart spicy finish.
Pruno takes the round on points using its speed and agility to impress the judges with a variety of spinning moves off the ropes.
Round 3 One Day after opening
The Pruno is showing some dynamite stamina with a nose of dark fruit, smoke, roasted coffee and cedar spices. The Palate is equally dark with black cherry, light clove spices and a spicy tannin tart cedar finish.
The 8 Bells shows no sign of wearing down either, working a double arm bar move on the Pruno with a nose that is dark and brooding with dark fruit, roasted meats, coffee and asian spices. The palate is black fruit, coffee bean, light spices and a dry tart finish with hints of coffee bean.
The 8 Bells puts its stamp of power on this match by muscling up and taking down the Pruno Punisher. By taking the final round, the 8 Bells Tempranillo secures the win and the champion's crown from the Castilla y Leon challenger.
Wrap up and overall observations
Both of these Luchadors were worthy foes that bulked up with power and style as the match progressed. The Pruno got spicier and sassier as time went on. The 8 Bells grew darker and more evil diving deep into the depths of the sea attempting to drag it's opponent down into the inky black depths of darkness.
The 8 Bells Tempranillo was an extremely limited production of just 10 cases. Made from grapes grown on the 31 Tempranillo vines on the Red Willow vineyards of Red Mountain. The wine was aged in a single neutral French oak barrel, which is interesting considering the dark, intense and smokey nature of this beast.
I would give both a solid 88. The Pruno is spicier with the 8 Bells leaning towards dark and smoldering.