Grape Madness Round #2: Chateau Chevalier vs. Fetzer

 Grape Madness Round #2: Blind TastingGrape Madness Round #2: Chateau Chevalier vs. Fetzer
The second round in the Trader Joe’s bracket of the inaugural Grape Madness tourney continues with the (1) 2004 Chateau Chevalier Napa Cabernet ($15) vs. the (3) 2006 Fetzer Valley Oaks Cabernet ($6).

Once again if you need a refresher on the rules you can find a recap here. The main one two keep in mind here, per the picture above, that these were tasted blind (again I know… single blind). Before we jump in, let’s look back on the first round match-ups to see how these two got here:

  • The Chateau Chevalier blew the Trader Joe’s Coastal Cab off the floor in round one 91-70.  My notes recall a balanced and smooth palate with dark fruits and hints of tannins and oak leading to a nice lingering finish.  I remember this wine as humble, being restrained when the winemaker could have pushed the envelope.  Well done.  Looking forward to seeing how it holds up in the 2nd round.
  • The Fetzer had a hard fought battle with the Sterling in the 1st round gritting out an 88-86 victory.  My notes recollect a wine that starts tight and tart but softened nicely with the souriness fading into the background.  Good structure hides other potential weaknesses and the almost chewy finish leaves you with pleasant thoughts.   Not much depth here but shaping up nicely.  This wine is one dimensional but it is a good one dimension.  Going to be a tough rode to hoe against the one seed.

With pregame covered let’s see how it went down live via twitter.

jasonswineblog: Tip off in #GrapeMadness. Fetzer comes out soft and Chateau Chevalier is off and running again with a lead of 29-16 12:48 left in the 1st.

jasonswineblog: #GrapeMadness Chateau Chevalier is to complex for Fetzer with dark, brambly fruit and a chewy finish on the glass.44-27 5:02 left in the 1st.

jasonswineblog: #GrapeMadness Fetzer having a hard time mounting a comeback. Just too one dimensional. Down 69-50 12:00 left in the 2nd.

jasonswineblog: #GrapeMadness Chateau Chevalier cruises to the Elite Eight over Fetzer winning 91-78.

As you can see above this one was never in doubt and was decided shortly after the nose.  For the Fetzer to win it would have required a disappointing effort from its counterpart which likely would have likely exposed it in round one.  Either way it didn’t go down and Chateau Chevalier played the UConn roll enjoying its cake walk to the Elite Eight.

2004 Chateau Chevalier Napa Cabernet ($16): Wins the 2nd game in a row shortly after tip off Depth is readily apparent.  Dark fruit on the nose.  Brambly cherry flavors lead to a nice lingering finish.  Liking this one a lot.  Looking forward to sharing it with RJ next round.  Rating: Wow

2006 Fetzer Valley Oaks Cabernet ($6): Still possesses a nice nose.  On the palate you find subtle, dark fruits that hold together nicely until the sourness comes through on the tannic finish.  A good wine but not in the same league as the Chateau Chevalier.  Heavyweight vs. lightweight with Fetzer on the wrong end.  This is a good, simple one dimensional that is worth $6.  It can protect you against the disappointment of a bad/average $15 bottle but it can’t replace the complexity you are hoping to find.  Rating: Buy It (for what it is)
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