Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Seattle vs. Chelan with an Italian Twist

The Tour de France starts on Saturday.  In an interesting twist, most countries run their national championships the week before the biggest bike race of the year.  The timing of these events results in some unusual national champions.  Most professionals, at the direction of their Trade Team, will choose to race the Tour rather than contest their national championship.  Sadly, most of the pros are motivated by (and more loyal to) the paycheck they earn racing for their team than national pride.

The timing of the two races also means that many national champions do not race in the Tour de France.  Weird.  Isn't it?

Speaking of weird.  This week's challenge features the return of the Washington intrastate rivalry between the Seattle Urban Wineries and Lake Chelan.  Washington v. Washington is not weird.  Weird is the Italian inspiration featured by these two combatants.  In this case, weird is not bad.  Weird is intriguing.

2007 Stomani Terremoto v. 2007 Tsillan Cellars Piccolo Rosso

Tale of the Tape

2007 Stomani Terremoto

45% Cabernet Sauvignon
30% Syrah
22% Sangiovese
5% Petit Verdot

Aged for 16 months in new and used French and American oak barrels.

Purchased at Stomani for $25.

2007 Tsillan Cellars Piccolo Rosso

63% Merlot
23% Cabernet Franc
7%  Nebbiolo
5% Barbera
2% Sangiovese

Purchased at the winery for $26.

Round 1. First Opening

The Tsillan Piccolo Rosso is entering the ring with a nose of earthy dried cherries.  The palate is more complex with notes of dried cherry, clove and menthol spices with a tart spicy coffee bean and menthol finish.

The Stomani Terremoto is a bruiser, laying down the law and staring down the Piccolo Rosso.  The nose is dark and bold with notes of dark berries, tar and tobacco.  The palate also shows dark fruit and tart spices of menthol trailing off into a tart dry clove spiced finish.

The syrah in the Stomani is sending this Luchador over the top.  Stomani takes the round with a lethal head lock submission hold on the Piccolo Rosso.

Round 2.  One hour after opening

The Tsillan Piccolo Rosso isn't backing down.  A bit dazed, this Luchador from Chelan is back in the mix with a nose of menthol spices and earthy dried cherries.  The palate is consistent with dried cherry, menthol spice and a tart dry finish that shows some menthol and light toffee.

You can feel the power surging through the Stomani Luchador.  The nose is showing dark roasted coffee and dusty spices.  The palate is dark and punishing with dark fruit, coffee and tart menthol spices.  The finish is tart and dry with notes of all spice.

Score another round for Stomani

Round 3.  One day after opening

Tsillan is going all in, flying off the top ropes, the only hope for victory is a knock out.  The Piccolo Rosso is holding its own and building some power with a nose of dusty dried cherry and hints of cocoa powder.  The palate has notes of cherry, dry cocoa powder and dusty coffee bean spices that are repeated on the finish.

The Stomani dodges Tsillan's flying clothes line and is showing some solid stamina with a nose that is featuring savory dark berries, slight menthol spices and white pepper.  The palate also shows dark berries, tart menthol spices and a dry all spice and cedar finish.

The Tsillan Luchador put in a big effort in the final round but it was not enough to topple the Stomani Terremoto.  Stomani takes the match 3 rounds to zip.

Wrap up and overall observations

Even though Stomani took the match with an impressive 3-0 score the battle was much closer than the numbers would seem to indicate.

Both of these wines definitely fit the bill for mystery and intrigue.  The blends show an Italian influence, but the Washington Bordeaux varietals are also in charge and living large.

I would rate both of these wines as excellent.  I'm not sure if you will be able to find these specific blends and vintage.  If not, you should still check out the other offerings from Stomani and Tsillan Cellars.  Both are making some nice Italian inspired wines with a twist.

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