Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Quarter-Final with Latin Heat


We're down to the last of our Quarter-Final taste-offs in our little blogosphere World Cup of Wine and it could be a real dandy - both of tonight's wines hail from countries known for producing wines with big QPR values (Quality Price Ratios). After two evenings with plenty of Quarter-Final tasters on hand, tonight's match finds just Boo and I deciding the fate of our last countries trying to stay in the competition.

So far, this is the only match-up in our little World Cup of Wine that mirrors an actual game from the tournament in South Africa. During the preliminary round, this was one of the games with the most at stake. Spain went into the game facing a possible ouster from the competition if they lost to Chile; while the South American surprise faced a similar outcome if they lost and Switzerland ended up annihilating Honduras. As all soccer fans know, Spain won that game 2-1 and both teams qualified for the Round of 16 elimination games.

Can the Spanish pull another win out of the hat?

513. 2008 MontGras Quatro (Colchagua Valley - Chile)

514. 2008 Celler Pinol - Ludovicus (D.O. Terra Alta - Spain)

Both wines were intriguing blends of four grape varietals - and both featured Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah as two of the varietals. The other two grapes were more local in nature and are particularly associated with Spain and South America. The Chilean wine was Cab, Syrah, Carmenere and Malbec, while the Spanish wine saw Garnacha (Grenache), Tempranillo, Syrah and Cab blended together.

Pricing was similar as well. Ludovicus rang in at $22, with Quatro hitting you for 20 bones. The Spanish wine was not in the provincial system; rather it was picked up at Everything Wine and the private stores can often account for a premium on the price. So, let's call this part of the game a draw.

I don't think I need a website to figure out the reasoning behind the name Quatro. Could it have anything to do with the four grape varietals? But, Ludovicus? Got me there. I didn't find any clarification on the winery website and a brief Google didn't seem to reveal any revelations from other sources. A site for baby names reveals that Ludovicus is a name that is a take off on "Louis" that combines French and Old German and that it means "famous warrior." There's a story behind this choice of a name somewhere but it's not going to be available with this post.

As for the juice in the glass, we needed to see if the "famous warrior" could take on and defeat its foursome foe. Despite the fact that both wines were similar in structure and profile - with lots of body and fruit - both Boo and I thought that the Spanish wine had a bit more of everything - nose, complexity, finish. Ludovicus may not exactly be all that famous, but it did win this battle and leaves the Spanish alive to fight another day.

As for a score, let's stick with the score from the actual pitch. Spain wins 2-1.

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