Thursday, October 18, 2012

Washington Mourvedre v. Southern Rhone

This last week has been explosive for pro cycling.  The covers were blown off and the mystery of doping was laid bare with the USADA's reasoned decision against Lance Armstrong.  Most people wanted to believe that the majority of the pro peloton was racing clean.  Sadly, it turns out that most continued to use banned substances even after the Festina Affair blew up at the 1998 Tour de France.

This week's challenge keeps up with the Mystery theme matching up a Garagiste Mystery Wine from the Southern Rhone against a Mystery Wine from Walla Walla.

2010 Renegade Wine Co. Mourvedre v. 2008 Calendal  Plan de Dieu

Tale of the Tape

These wines are a Mystery so there is not a whole lot of detail to share.

2010 Renegade Wine Co. Mourvedre

100% Mourvedre from Walla Walla Valley AVA

Purchased from Full Pull for $14.99

2008 Calendal Plan de Dieu

80% Mourvedre 20% Grenache Cotes du Rhone

Aged for 12-14 months in once used barrels

Purchased from Garagiste for $16.99

Round 1. First Opening

The first mystery Luchador to enter the ring is the Walla Walla Mourvedre.  Sneering like the masked bandit on the label this wine is showing a nose that shows soy, vinegar and sour earthy red fruit.  The palate is also featuring sour red fruit along with Asian spices that carry over to the finish.

The Calendal is showing off some traditional Southern Rhone character with a nose of dark red fruit, dank forest floor and cedar brambles.  The palate is slightly darker with dark fruit and earthy menthol spices along with a tobacco leaf finish.

These Mystery Luchadors are already showing some tell tale signs of their terroir.  Round 1 goes to the French challenger for showing off more character in the ring. 

Round 2. One hour after opening

The Walla Walla Mourvedre is stepping up its game.  Pulling out all the stops with some serious muscle the nose is showing spicy salt and pepper and dark red fruit.  The palate is drier with tart red fruit, blueberry and cracked pepper that lingers to a spicy tart finish.

The Calendal is switching up too.  The nose is showing sweet tobacco leaf, licorice and dark fruit.  The palate is featuring dark fruit and sweet spicy tobacco that sticks around for a tart tobacco leaf finish.

This round is close, with a slight edge going to the Mystery Mourvedre from Walla Walla. 

Round 3.  One day after opening

The Walla Walla Luchador isn't wasting any time getting active in the ring.  Taking the fight straight to the Cotes du Rhone with a nasty kick to the teeth.  The nose is showing character of dark berry, licorice, and light cracked pepper and smoke.  The palate is equally brooding with dark berries, cedar spices and cracked pepper that continues to the finish with some added tartness.

The Cotes du Rhone is trotting out more of the same technique, showing great stamina, but not much imagination.  The nose has notes of logan berry, tobacco and licorice.  The palate is also showing dark logan berry and spicy tobacco leaf that continues to the finish that is dominated by sweet tobacco leaf.

Round 3 goes to the Walla Walla Mourvedre.  The original producer may be a mystery, but the depth and strength of this Luchador cannot be missed.

Wrapup and overall observations.

These two Luchadors were mysteries for different reasons. 

The Renegade Wine Co. Mourvedre is produced and bottled by Sleight of Hand Cellars under their covert label.  These wines are typically purchased in an incomplete state and finished off (with style) by Trey Bush before being unleashed on an unsuspecting public.

The Calendal was featured as Mystery Wine #31 from Garagiste.  Jon Rimmerman sells these mystery wines by mixing in some kind of riddle and clues amongst his normal over the top descriptions of the "best ever" wine.  I got lucky with this one.  Not all Mystery Wines turn out this good.  The Calendal was a score and this is exactly why I keep getting lured back in for more.

Both of these wines are a knock out at less than 20 bucks!

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