Thursday, January 17, 2013

Washington Cabernet Sauvignon v. Australia

The early season racing continued in Australia with their National Championships last week.  Luke Durbridge pulled off a first ever double with victories in the Time Trial and Road Race.  Keep your eyes and ears open for some high quality results in 2013 from this young Aussie that races for the Orica-Green Edge team.

The racing took place in Victoria last week.  That location lead to a Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon doing battle with a Washington Cabernet from Sheridan vineyards.

2009 Jim Barry The Cover Drive v. 2009 Sheridan Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Tale of the Tape

2009 Sheridan Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

100% Sheridan estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon

Aged in neutral oak barrels

Purchased for $17.99 from Full Pull Wines.

2009 Jim Barry The Cover Drive

100% estate grown Cabernet Sauvignon from Coonawarra Australia

Aged for 12 months in 50% American and 50% French Oak barrels

Purchased for $16.99 at Corky Cellars.

Round 1. First opening

Old timey mustaches and cricket bats can be intimidating.  In fact, as Spinal Tap's manager Ian Faith demonstrated, the cricket bat can inflict some serious damage.

The Sheridan Vineyard cab isn't backing down despite the Jim Barry intimidation tactics.  The nose on this Washington State Luchador is showing black cherry and funky barnyard.  The palate is big and complex with black cherry,
cinnamon, clove and mole chocolate notes. The finish is rich with dusty cocoa notes.

Jim Barry lumbers into the ring with a nose of sandal wood, leather, cedar and cherries.  The palate shows tart pie cherry and cedar spices with a finish that is unusually dry for an Australian wine with tart cedar and light spices.

Sheridan came out ready to rumble and rolled over the Aussie challenger to take round one.

Round 2. One hour after opening

The Sheridan is stepping up its game with a nose that is showing black cherry, dusty spices and mocha.  The palate is also full and explosive with black cherry, clove and menthol spices leading to an equally spice filled finish of clove, menthol and tart coffee bean.

Jim Barry is bulked up like a Down Under cousin of Barry Bonds. The nose is bold and dark, full of roasted meats and coffee.  The palate shows dark fruit and cedar spices with a tart cedar finish is tinged with spices.

Jim Barry might have been standing tall, but the Sheridan chopped it down to size with a flurry of flying judo chops.  Score another round for Sheridan.

Round 3. One day after opening

Sheridan is showing some serious stamina with a nose featuring dark cherry, currant and dusty cedar spice.  The palate continues to mesmerize with black cherry, spices and tart cocoa notes that wind up into a tart menthol and coffee bean finish.

Jim Barry seems to be on a steroid fueled bender building power displayed in a nose featuring licorice, roast coffee and smoked pickle juice.  The palate matches the darkness with black fruit, tart cranberry and a sweet tart cherry bark finish.

Jim Barry tried to mask the performance enhancing drugs with pickle juice, but the commissaries saw through that smoke screen.

Sheridan was already ahead 2 nil before the final round and appeared to be on the way to a hard fought victory. The judges made it a bit easier by disqualifying the defiant Australian Luchador.

The fans and supporters are crying out That's not fair.  That's not Cricket. And, they are right. This is wrestling!

Wrap up and overall observations

The styles of these two Cabernet Sauvignon Luchadors was pretty dramatic.  The Australian Cab was much bolder, which would seem to reflect the climate and heat South of the equator.  The Washington Cab shows familiar character of black cherry, currant and dusty mole spices.

I would give the Sheridan Cabernet a solid 89 and the Jim Barry an 87.

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