Saturday, January 5, 2013

Battle in Seattle III - Washington v. Bordeaux

This is the final installment in my End of the World series.  It took a bit longer than I expected to finish off these battles.  Without any further distractions here is the third matchup in the Battle in Seattle.

When you talk about young wines the French trot out something akin to my Grandfather.  So many Bordeaux wines won't even enter the Lucha Vino ring until they have spent a serious decade hiding in the cellar.  These Frenchies want to sleep so long that an entire set of world changing events could pass them by.  The world could actually... uh, end...

The grandaddy from France pays a visit to the new kid on the block from Washington.  

2006 Chateau Landat Hout-Medoc v. 2009 Cloudlift Halcyon

Tale of the Tape

2009 Cloudlift Halcyon

67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc from the Upland, Arianses, and Alder Ridge vineyards

Purchased for $24 at the winery.

2006 Chateau Landat Haut-Medoc

75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot all from estate vineyards located in the Haut-Medoc AOC of Bordeaux

Aged for 12 months in oak barrels.

Purchased for $22 at Total Wine and More

Round 1. First opening

The Halcyon from Washington is coming on strong with a nose featuring juicy dark cherries and earthy brambles.  The palate is also showing dark cherry along with light hints of clove spices and some coffee bean that carries over to a dry cocoa finish that includes some hints of menthol.

Chateau Landat stumbles into the ring rubbing sleep from its eyes and looking slightly dazed.  The nose is showing notes of ripe red berries along with earthy forest floor and hints of menthol.  The palate is darker with features of cherry and dry coffee bean spices all culminating in a dry tart finish.

The Halcyon was ready to rumble from the opening bell and easily took round 1.

Round 2. One hour after opening

The Halcyon is bulking up with a nose of currants, sandal wood and roasted coffee with floral notes of menthol floating on top.  The palate is also showing dark currants with floral overtones.  The finish is menthol driven with some light dry cocoa.

Landat is wide awake and fighting back building momentum off the ropes for a wicked clothesline to the throat of the Halcyon.  The nose is showing currant mingled with dark berries and floral lavender spices all topped off with some light smokiness.  The palate shows currant dark berry roast coffee lingers to the on finish slightly dry with some spices thrown in for good measure.

Landat battles back to take round 2.

Round 3. One day after opening

The match is coming down to the wire, the winner of round 3 will take the victory.

Halcyon is firing off from the start with a nose of dark fruit and smoky light spices.  The palate is full of dark cherry fruit, coffee and cocoa along with menthol and clove spices that carry over to the finish with notes of semisweet chocolate lingering in the background.

The Landat is standing strong with a nose showing dark fruit, leather and menthol.  The palate is continuing to build with dark fruit, cedar spice box and roasted coffee bean tartness that build to a similar tart and spicy finish.

Both of these Luchadors are showing strength and stamina building to a crescendo.  The final round is close with both combatants landing some serious blows.  Much to the chagrin of the French, Halcyon takes the round and the final match in the Battle of Seattle series.

Wrap up and overall observations

Both of these wines showed themselves to be food friendly with nice acidity, backbone and balance.  They also continued to evolve for a couple of more days following the match.

The Landat appears to have some nice aging potential for an under 25 dollar Left Bank Bordeaux.

The 2009 Halcyon is Tom Stangeland's first Cloudlift vintage.  He is focusing on Bordeaux style blends and this Cab dominant blend has me looking forward to future releases and expecting continued solid wines from this South Seattle artisan.

I would rate both of these wines as excellent and score them as solid 89s

No comments:

Post a Comment