Thursday, September 13, 2012

Washington Tempranillo v. Ribera Del Duero

The Vuelta a Espana wrapped up this weekend in Madrid.  The race was going along smoothly for Joaquim Rodriguez who was able to maintain his overall lead through the Stage 13 Individual Time Trial (hills are his forte' not turning a big gear).  Maybe Rodriguez got over confident.  Or maybe Alberto Contador was just waiting for the right moment.  No matter the reason, Alberto Contador launched a massive attack, and took control of the race, on stage17 to Fuente De.

Rodriguez lost over two minutes to Contador, along with the race lead, on the way to the Fuente De mountain top finish.  Alberto Contador grabbed hold of the race lead and never let go leading the race all the way in to Madrid (his home town).  You could say that Contador stormed the race like a bull storming a matador.  And that would be fitting for the racer from Madrid where bull fighting is still on Spain's entertainment menu.

This week's matchup honors a bull that defied the odds.  The name of that bull is Idilico.

2009 Idilico Tempranillo v. 2010 Frontaura y Victoria Nexus Cosecho

Tale of the Tape

2009 Idilico Tempranillo

100% Tempranillo from the Yakima Valley, Horse Heaven Hills and Snipes Mountain AVA.

Aged in neutral French Oak for 12 months.

Purchased from Full Pull Wines for $17.99.

2010 Frontaura y Victoria Nexus Cosecho 

100% Tempranillo from the Ribera Del Duero DO.

Aged for 6 months in French Oak Barrels.

Purchased at Bin 41 for $20.

Round 1. First Opening

The Idilico Tempranillo is living up to the reputation of the mighty Spanish bull.  Stepping into the ring with a snort and looking for trouble.  The nose is dark dusty leather clad berries with hints of earthy pepper.  The palate is lush dark fruit and coffee with a tart sweet cherry bark finish.

The Nexus seems to be a bit intimidated with a nose showing sweet dark berries and a bit of mushroom.  The palate is primarily tart pie cherry with a tart cherry bark finish.

Idilico takes round 1.

Round 2. One hour after opening

Idilico is building complexity and looking for trouble.  Flying into the ring with a nose of dark red berries mixed with raspberry, light toasty spices, leather and cedar notes.  The palate is showing dark berries and clove spices that linger on to a tart pie cherry and all spice finish.

Nexus is stepping up and trying to go toe-to-toe with Idilico.  The nose has boosted to feature dark cherry along with cedar spices.  The palate is also showing its dark side with dark cherry, tart cedar and light spices on the dry finish.

A valiant effort from Nexus, but not enough to topple Idilico.  Round 2 goes to our Washington State Luchador.

 Round 3. One day after opening

Idilico continues to add flair and style with a nose that is featuring some citrus along with red berry, leather and underbrush.  The palate has notes of menthol, coffee, dark fruit and tart cherry with a spicy finish.

The Nexus has really bulked up for the final round with the nose showing camp fire smoke, dark fruit, black pepper and light floral overtones.  The palate is dark fruit and menthol spices with a tart pepper and cedar tinged finish.

Nexus is switching up and bulking up.  The new found strength is still not enough to do much damage.  Idilico takes the final round and the match 3-0.

Wrap up and overall observations

The Idilico Tempranillo surely lived up to its namesake, rampaging the ring and never relinquishing control of the match.  The Idilico was bigger and bolder than the Nexus.  Unlike some large champions, the Idilico showed stamina and endurance by evolving over the course of the match.

The Nexus from Ribera del Duero got off to a slow start but built body and strength over all three rounds.  I would give this Spanish Luchador some more time in the cellar (make it serve a two year ban like Contador and it should return like a champion).

I give the Idilico an 89 and the Nexus a solid 87 and anticipate a couple of more points in the future.

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