The final week of the Tour de France started in the South of France and moved Northeast.  Finishing a stage in Italy before heading back into the French Alps.  Back in the early 1300s the Pope moved the papacy to Southern France. This week's Lucha Vino matchup features a Chateauneuf du Pape cage match in recognition of this unusual move and the route traced by the Tour de France's final week of racing.

Comparing a Washington State Cdp to the real deal...

2005 Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape v. 2005 Banneret CdP

Tale of the tape

2005 Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape

A blend of 56% Grenache 38% Syrah and 6% Cinsault from the Columbia Valley AVA.  Aged for 30 months in 40% new French Oak.

Purchased from Full Pull Wines for $31.49

2005 Domaine du Banneret  Chateauneuf du Pape

70% Grenache 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre

Purchased at Bin 41 for $37.99.

Round 1.  First Opening:

The Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape has a nose of cedar, dark fruit, baking spice, leather and some earth and dry twigs.  The palate is rich dark currants, clove, cinnamon and cocoa with some nice baking spice that moves in to the finish and finally ends with tart spicy cherries.

The Banneret CdP is showing a nose of mushroom, forest floor, baking spice, tobacco leaf and red fruit.  The palate has lots of tobacco leaf dry red fruit and a dry finish.

This round goes to the Tranche Cellars Slice of Pape taking the fight directly to the Banneret.  Both Luchadors are feisty, but showing very different styles that could make for an interesting battle in the later rounds.

Round 2.  One hour after Opening

The Slice of Pape is getting stronger firing off round two with a nose of currant, baking spice, clove and espresso bean.  The palate is showing dark notes of chocolate, black fruit, licorice and clove spices that continue on to the finish.  This Luchador is dark and brooding, complex and demanding showing some style that indicates no mercy will be given.

The Banneret is crafty and consistent continuing to show a nose of tobacco leaf, red fruit and some barnyard funk is beginning to show through.  The palate has built more tobacco leaf character along with cedar tart red fruit and a tart finish.

Round 2 goes to Tranche Cellars again.  In a surprise move, the judges award a half point for style to the Banneret.

Read about round 3 at the link below.