Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gold Medal Part II: Washington Cab Franc

Week 2 of the Olympics and another Gold Medal matchup is on tap.  Just how do these Olympians feel about not winning Gold?  Here is what Gregory Bauge, the World Champion Track Cyclist from France, said about winning Silver in the Men's Sprint finals

"I don't like losing. This is a defeat in a big event, it angers me. This is a failure for me personally," Baugé said. "It is four years that I've dominated in my discipline. I wanted gold, it's a disappointment. I do not train twice a day for this disappointment." (courtesy of cyclingnews).

Now you know how it feels to be the "first loser."

Track cyclists can be a fiesty lot.  In their honor this week's matchup features Cabernet Franc - a grape with a spicy personality of its own.

2007 Vin du Lac Barrel Select Cabernet Franc v. 2009 cloudlift Ascent

Tale of the Tape

2007 Vin du Lac Barrel Select Cabernet Franc

2010 Seattle Wine Awards Gold Medal (and more)

82% Cabernet Franc and 18% Merlot from the Columbia Valley AVA

Aged in one year old French and American Oak Barrels

2009 cloudlift Ascent

2012 Seattle Wine Awards Double Gold Red Bordeaux $20 - $35

72% Cabernet Franc, 23% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley AVA

Round 1. First opening

Cloudlift is eager to get this match started sprinting into the ring with a nose of currants, herbal green pepper and cracked pepper.  The palate shows black cherry, tart Asian spices and semi sweet chocolate that lingers to the finish with some nice tartness.

Vin du Lac is a bruiser, stomping into the ring with the look of a luchador that is about to deliver some pain.  The nose has character of dark cherry, licorice, light brambly underbrush and a hint of coffee.  The palate is rich with dark cherry, menthol and eucolyptus that linger to a dry spice cracked pepper finish with notes of toffee at the end.

This match is definitely shaping up to be one that features two different styles.  Speed and quickness from the Cloudlift vs hulking power from Vin du Lac.

Round one goes to Vin du Lac as the Luchador from Chelan flexes its muscles.

Round 2. One hour after opening

Cloudlift isn't backing down from this battle building some confidence with a nose of dark cherry, currant, dusty toffee spices and chocolate.  The palate is featuring dark cherry, Asian spices and a semisweet chocolate tart spicy finish.

Vin du Lac shouts out "Bring it!" bulking up and flexing like Hulk Hogan with a nose of dusty dark cherry, menthol, cedar, all spice and licorice.  The palate is equally massive with black cherry, clove spices, semi sweet chocolate and tart coffee bean that leads to a tart cocoa finish.

The Cloudlift is feisty, but the Vin du Lac is simply over powering.  Chalk up another round for the massive Cab Franc Luchador from the shores of Lake Chelan.

Round 3.  One day after opening

This is it.  Can Cloudlift launch a furious attack featuring some blistering speed?

Cloudlift leads off with a nose of dark fruit, roasted meats, cocoa and cracked pepper.  The palate is showing dark fruit, black cherry, cedar spices, chocolate and a tart cocoa with light spiced finish.

The Vin du Lac is getting wicked with a nose that is featuring dusty dark fruit and light spices.  The palate has dark fruit, licorice and cocoa with a finish that starts with spicy black pepper and ends with menthol spice.

Cloudlift took the fight straight at the Vin du Lac bruiser in every round, but couldn't bring down the giant from Chelan.  Vin du Lac took the final round and the match 3-0.

Wrap up and overall observations

Both of these wines were top notch.  The styles were quite different with the extra Cab Franc and Merlot in the Vin du Lac blend bringing some extra muscle.  While the Cloudlift featured primarly Cabernet Franc with a nice spicy mix of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Both of these Luchadors were truly worthy of their gold medal status.  I give them both a solid 89.

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