Thursday, September 20, 2012

Washington Sangiovese v. Emilia Romagna

With all the recent doping controversies you have to wonder at the UCI sanctioning a memorial race for Marco Pantani, aka Il Pirata.  Pantani was extremely popular (and successful) as a professional bike racer in the 90s and the early 2000s.  His career was shadowed by rumors and allegations of performance enhancing drug use.  He was suspended several times and made a number of comebacks.  Unfortunately, he was personally tormented by the accusations and fell in to recreational drug abuse.  Il Pirata died of a cocaine overdose in 2004.

The memorial Marco Pantani road race began the same year of Pantani's death and the latest edition was held this weekend in central Italy covering 183 km from Pantani's hometown of Cesenatico to Cesena, his birthplace.

2007 Tulpen Sangiovese v. Drei Dona 2007 Notturno Sangiovese

Tale of the Tape

2007 Tulpen Sangiovese

100% Sangiovese with 60% from Lewis Vineyard young vines and 40% (all old vines) from Desert Hills Vineyard in the Yakima Valley.

Purchased from Full Pull wines for $17.99.

2007 Drei Dona Notturno Sangiovese

100% Sangiovese from Emilia-Romagna

Aged for 7-8 months in barrel and then another 3-5 years in bottle

Provided as a sample by Vinum Importing.  Thanks Gavin!

Round 1. First Opening

No matter how much the announcer yells "Let's Get it On!" Tulpen seems to be a bit reluctant to answer the bell for the opening round.   The nose is showing bright cherries with hints of pepper and earth.  The palate is very tart with pie cherry and cedar spices with a very dry spicy finish.

Drei Dona wastes little time getting down to business with a series of wicked speed moves off the ropes.  The nose features dusty cherries with hints of sweetness and spice.  The palate is also showing cherry character along with menthol and tart cedar notes the linger to a dry spicy and slightly sweet finish.

Round 1 goes to Drei Dona as the Washington Luchador seems to be struggling to find its footing in the ring.

Round 2. One Hour Later

The Tulpen is stepping up in a big way.  The change from round 1 to round 2 is impressive.  The nose is showing roasted campfire tinged dark fruit.  The palate features dark currant and sandalwood with a nice dark tart finish that includes hints of campfire smoke.

Drei Dona is trying to keep up but it appears that the Tulpen may be too much for the Italian challenger.  The nose has evolved to show bees wax and dark cherry.  The palate is also showing dark cherry along with menthol and dry tart cherry bark with a dry cedar spice finish.

The Drei Dona is searching for its dinner partner to tag into the ring forgetting that this match is mano a mano with no other assistance.

Tulpen takes round 2 to even up the match.

Round 3. One Day Later

Tulpen is continuing to bulk up with a nose of dusty dark cherry and hints of pepper.  The palate is equally dark and brooding with dark cherry, tart cedar and menthol with a dusty cracked pepper finish.

Drei Dona is flexing some old world muscle and showing off some complexity.  The nose is showing sweet dark cherry and plums with some earthiness.  The palate is still quite dry with cherries and menthol spices leading to a tart cherry bark finish.

The old world muscle wasn't quite enough to stand up to the new world bulk.  Tulpen takes round three by a slim margin after administering a punishing drop kick to the Italian challenger.

Wrap up and overall observations

The Tulpen Sangiovese from Walla Walla started slow and steadily picked up the power.  This wine needs some time to breathe and then look out below! 

The Drei Dona stayed true to its old world Sangiovese roots.  This wine is definitely food friendly.

Two different styles.  Two great Luchadors.  I give both of these wines a solid 88.

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