Saturday, April 20, 2013

Toro, Toro, Toro! Tinta de Toro v. Washington

The stage races in Northern Spain are wrapping up with the Vuelta Castilla y Leon.  This race used to be longer, but has been reduced to three stages due to lack of sponsor funding.  The race route travels North from Madrid and passes reasonably close to the Toro D.O.

This week's challenge features a Spanish Tempranillo from the Toro D.O. battling with a Washington state Tempranillo.

2010 Vina Salida Tempranillo v. 2008 Bodega Teso la Monja Almirez Tinta de Toro

Tale of the Tape

2010 Vina Salida Tempranillo

100% Tempranillo sourced from the Colmbia Valley AVA with grapes from the Two Coyote Vineyard and Sugarloaf Vineyard.

This is Doug McCrea's label that focuses on Spanish style wines.

Purchased for $19.99 at Wine World

2008 Almirez Tinta de Toro

100% Tinto (Tempranillo) from the Toro DO in the Castilla y Leon Region of Spain.  These are all estate grown grapes from the Eguren family's finest properties in the Toro region.

Aged for 12 months in 30% new French Oak Barrels.

Purchased for $24.99 at Spanish Table.

Round 1. First Opening

The Vina Salida isn't wasting any time, dropping into the ring with a nose of smoky currants, light pepper and candle wax.  The palate shows currant, cracked pepper and cigar box spices that lead to a finish that is a bit dry, hot and loaded with spices.

The Almirez seems a bit intimidated by the Washington luchador.  Almirez has a nose of dark fruit with funky wet dog and forest floor dominating the scene.  The Palate is more typical with notes of currant, dried flowers and a dry slightly floral finish.

Salida slams Almirez and takes round 1 with little difficulty.

Round 2.  One hour after opening

The Vina Salida is building a potent attack with a nose of currants, menthol and eucalyptus spices along with some savory soy.  The palate is dark and lush with black cherry, coffee bean, tart cocoa powder and cassis with a tart dry finish featuring notes of white pepper and cedar.

The Almirez has awakened and is on the attack with a nose that has evolved to dried flowers, smoke and red berries.  The palate is showing cherries, tart spices and dried flowers that give way to a tart dry finish with hints of earthy spices.

The Spanish Luchador mounted a surprise attack knocking back the slightly over confident Salida and taking the points in round 2

Round 3.  One day after opening

The match comes down to the final round with each Luchador playing to their strengths and scoring one point each.

The Vina Salida is showing stamina with a nose of dark currant, light smoke, leather and white pepper.  The palate is featuring dark currant, black cherry, cola and menthol spices all leading to a dry tart coffee bean spiced sweet cola toffee finish.

The Almirez is regressing a bit with a nose of funky mushroom and dark mineral fruit.  The palate is more lush showing some smooth moves in the center of the ring dominated by black cherry and a tart cedar brambly finish.

The Almirez from Toro mounted a strong come back, but it was not enough to overcome the more powerful Luchador from Washington State.  Salida takes the final round with a series of wicked flying drop kicks.

Wrap up and overall observations.

Both of these luchadors showed unique character.  The Almirez took a bit longer to warm up and found its sweet spot after about an hour of air.  Both showed the classic darker notes of Tempranillo along with complimentary spices.

I would rate both of these luchadors as top notch additions to your collection.  The Vina Salida is delivering great value at the $20 price point.  They are drinking well now and will both probably continue to build more character with a few more years in the cellar.

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