Thursday, August 1, 2013

Seattle v. Lake Chelan Cross State BDX Style Battle

The Tour de France is over and now the race jersey winners are cashing in on the post-tour criterium circuit.  This is an informal series of local criterium races hosted throughout France in the weeks that follow le Tour.  In these races, the jersey winners in the tour will frequently "win" the race in front of their adoring fans.  People come to see their heroes win and they rarely go home dissappointed.  The race promoters make sure of that by setting up the race results before the racers ever turn a peddle in anger.

Hmmm, sounds a bit like professional wrestling.

So, while Chris Froome gets the red carpet treatment, the Lucha Vino Challenge pits two Bordeaux style blends from Washington State against each other in a continuation of the Seattle Urban Wineries vs. Lake Chelan Battle Royale series.

Falling Rain 2007 Mischief v. CR Sandidge 2008 Caris

Tale of the Tape

Falling Rain 2007 Mischief

  • 58% Cabernet Sauvignon 41% Lewis Vineyards and 17% Alder Ridge
  • 25% Cabernet Franc Alder Ridge
  • 8% Malbec Gilbert Vineyards
  • 8% Merlot Wahlukc Slope Vineyards
  • 1 % Petit Verdot Gilbert Vineyards
Aged for 20 months in French and American oak barrels.

Purchased at the winery for $25.

CR Sandidge 2008 Caris
  • 41% Merlot DuLia Vineyard
  • 24% Cabernet Franc DuLia Vineyard
  • 21% Syrah Harding Vineyard
  • 14% Cabernet Sauvignon River's Bend Vineyard
Aged for 22 months in French and Hungarian oak barrels.

Purchased at the winery for $32.

Round 1. First opening

Falling Rain is muscling up right from the opening bell.  The nose shows dark fruit, clean menthol spices and a bit of candle wax.  The palate is robust with dark fruit and clove spices followed by tart cedar and a light spiced coffee bean finish.

Caris, from Lake Chelan, is showing some devious kung fu complexity finishing off with a spinning round house that knocks Falling Rain for a loop.  The nose is slightly funky with dusty red berries and some earthy spiced candle wax.  The palate features dark red fruit, clove spices and slightly tart cedar notes with  toffee, coffee bean, clove and menthol spices on the finish.

Caris takes round one with a blazing display of kung fu.

Round 2.  One hour after opening

Falling Rain is up off the canvas and ready for more.  This Bordeaux style blend from Seattle is no shrinking violet calling for Caris to come and get some...  The nose is full of dark fruit along with hints of sandalwood and some cedar spices.  The palate features dark fruit, tart cedar and menthol coffee bean spices that continue to a tart dry slightly spicy finish. 

Caris is getting a bit cocky stepping straight into the fray and into a fearsome Falling Rain headlock.  Taking a moment to regroup, the luchador spins free with a burst of unexpected power.  The nose is showing darker fruit with rich dusty spices, a hint of hazelnut and cocoa wrapped up in a slightly savory package.  The palate is also featuring dark fruit with tart cedar clove spices, dusty cocoa and tart coffee bean that leads to a spicy finish.

This round was close with the judges giving a slight edge to Falling Rain for being more aggressive. 

Round 3.  One day after opening

The match is all tied at 1 round each.  Which Luchador is going to step up and take the final round and the glory?

With everything on the line Falling Rain is looking to confuse the opponent by shifting styles.  The nose is showing dark musty forest floor, mushrooms and light earthy all spice.  The palate is rich with dark tart fruit and cedar spices finishing off with more notes of clove combined with some tart cedar.

Caris keeps upping the ante with complexity, starting the round by swinging into the ring from the rafters.  The nose is savory with raspberry, currants, clove and white pepper.  The palate shows tart cedar, dark berries, clove and menthol spices with a tart coffee bean and cracked pepper finish.   

The Lake Chelan Luchador takes the final round and the match with some devastating kung fu moves.
Wrap up and overall observations.

The Falling Rain is robust and full bodied.  This wine should be drinking well for another 5-10 years.

The Caris is rich and slightly more spicy and complex.  It is drinking well now and should continue on for years to come.

Both of these wines were top notch and I would recommend them both.  The Falling Rain is an especially attractive value at $25 a bottle. 

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