Sunday, March 31, 2013

WA Cabernet Sauvignon Sibling Rivalry

This past weekend featured the TASTE WA Grand Tasting, capping off Washington wine month. The Lucha Vino challenge stays with the Washington theme this week featuring a intra-family battle.   This sibling rivalry could get ugly.

Tildio Cabernet Sauvignon slam fest 2007 v 2008 v 2009 with family bragging rights on the line.

Tale of the Tape

2007 & 2008 Tildio Cabernet Sauvignon are both designated Columbia Valley AVA.

The 2009 is more specific coming from the Wahluke Slope AVA.

All wines purchased direct at the Tildio winery.

Round 1. First Opening

The young buck from 2009 is wasting no time taking the fight straight at the older brothers.  The nose is dark and spicy featuring currants, brambles and menthol spices.  The palate is dark with cherries, coffee and hints of clove and menthol spice that continue on to a slightly dry finish that includes some tart barrel spices.

The 2008 is playing rope-a-dope, hanging back a bit and letting the 2009 burn some of that youthful energy.  The nose is subdued with barrel notes mingling with dark cherry.  The palate shows dried cherries and currants leading to a dry finish that includes some hints of candle wax.

That leaves the battle to the old man from 2007.  This veteran luchador is crafty and complex with a nose featuring currants, earth, candle wax and cedar spices.  The palate adds to the complexity with black cherry, cedar, toffee and clove spices that resolves with a slightly dry spicy finish.

This round really came down to a battle between the 07 and the 09.  The 07 flashed some complicated moves during the round, but the 09 took the points with a show of force and aggression.

Round 2. One hour after opening

These Tildio Bad Boys hit the canvas for round two with some fury.

The 07 is picking up where it left off taking down the 09 and 08.  Propelled by the ring ropes the 2007 takes down the other two challengers with a series of wicked clothes line chops.  The nose is showing dark currants, cocoa and brambly earthy all spice.  The palate is getting big and bad with black cherry, toffee and menthol clove spices that hang around to the finish which is slightly dry and spicy.

The 09 picks itself up off the canvas and launches a bruising counter attack with the nose showing currants, black cherry, cocoa power and brambly earthy spices.  The palate is a bit lighter, but complex and complimentary, with bing cherry, cocoa and spicy tart coffee bean that is duplicated on the finish along with some hints of menthol.

The 08 seems to be content to let the other two luchadors battle it out.  Perhaps hoping for the titans to tire one another out and then launch an attack when the opponents energy levels are low.

The 08 is lurking in the background with a nose of medium dark berries, leather and spice.  The palate has character of currant, tart cedar coffee bean and menthol spices that carries over to the finish.

The 2007 takes round 2 by a slim margin.

Round 3.  One day after opening

The score after two rounds shows 1 point each for the 2007 and 2009.  Let's see if the 2008's lurker strategy pays off in the final round of our match.

The 2007 Luchador is channeling some serious nervous energy into a wild attack.  The nose is bold and dark with notes of currant intermixed with menthol spices, brambles and cocoa powder.  The palate shows black cherry, coffee, toffee and spices of cinnamon, clove and eucalyptus trailing into a cocoa powder spiced finish.

The 2009 counters with a last ditch effort featuring spinning kung fu moves and a nose of dark fruit, forest floor, mushroom and all spice.  The palate is showing black cherry, tart cedar clove spices and a dry finish with tannin laced spices.

The crowd is on its feet wondering what the 2008 is up to.  The middle Luchador is lurching to the center of the ring and attempting a come back.  The nose is slightly bulked up with notes of currant, smokey peat and earthy all spice.  The palate is more complex in this round with currant, light smoke and tart cedar with a bit of cocoa and cedar spices on a dry finish.

The 2008 never really showed up for this match.  Unfortunately, the "wait and see" strategy did not pay off.

The 2007 showed maturity that matched its age, getting stronger as the rounds progressed taking round 2 and 3 and the victory.

Wrap up and Overall Observations

This was an interesting matchup of three vintages.  The youngest and oldest luchadors made a pain sandwich out of the 2008.  It will be interesting to see how these Tildio Cabernets continue to evolve with some more age in the bottle. 

I would rate the 2007 and 2009 as excellent and both are tasting good right now. 

The 2008 should chill out in the cellar a bit longer to reach maximum enjoyment.

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