Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Washington Intrastate Primitivo Throw Down

The third, and final, Giro d'Italia installment features Primitivo, a grape grown predominantly in Puglia.  The Puglia region (also known as Apulia) is located in "The Heel" of Italy's boot. The 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia begins in Sardinia, then travels to Sicily and finally crosses to the mainland on day 6.  On day 7 the racers will visit Primitivo's homeland

An interesting fact about Primitivo is that it is related to Zinfandel.  Some DNA tests show that the grapes are the same, some tests say they are different.  One thing is certain - you will mostly find Zinfandel in California and Primitivo in Italy.

For this challenge I had a hard time locating a challenger from Italy.  What to do?  What about an intrastate match?  Washington v. Washington with a twist - Washington Winemaker v. Oregon Winemaker, both using Primitivo grown in Washington.  Game on!

2014 Casa Smith Porcospino Primitivo v. 2011 Angel Vine Columbia Valley Primitivo.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Washington Sangiovese vs. Chianti Classico

Any cyclist that has ever raced a criterium or cyclocross race is familiar with one of the final warnings given by the race official "Don't ride backward on the course!"  I'm not sure I have ever heard an official at a road race give the same warning.

So, what does that have to do with this week's Lucha Vino challenge?  I'm riding backward on the 2017 Giro d' Italia course!  My journey started in Piedmont and now I am tracing the route backward to Tuscany.

Stage 11 starts in Firenze (Florence) and travels East to Bagno di Romagna and includes five climbs along the way.  These types of stages are often the places that separate the men from the boys, the contenders from the pretenders, the climbers from the sprinters...  You get the picture.

This week's Lucha Vino match up features a Washington Sangiovese taking on a Chianti Classico from Tuscany.  Which one of these Luchadors will prove to be mightier than the other?

2014 Casa Smith Sangiovese v. 2013 Felsina Chianti Classico

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Washington Barbera v. Piedmont

Italy is one of the most cycling crazy nations in the world.  The pro race season wraps up with several one day races in Northern Italy in the Piedmont wine region.  If that wasn't reason enough to feature an Italian wine smack down, then the announcement of the 100th edition of the Giro d' Italia certainly is!

The Giro del Piemonte took place at the end of September with Italian Champion Giacomo Nizzolo taking a sprint victory on his home soil.

A few weeks later the route for the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia was unveiled.  The 2017 route will start in Southern Italy, on the island of Sardinia.  The race will work its way North concluding in Milan after three breathtaking weeks of racing.

The next few Lucha Vino matchups will feature Casa Smith Italian inspired wines taking on a bevy of Italian challengers.

First up, this week's matchup features a Washington Barbera from Casa Smith taking on an Italian challenger from the Barbera d'Alba DOC.

2014 Casa Smith Barbera v. 2013 G.D. Vajra Barbera d'Alba

Washington Tempranillo v. Rioja

This year's Vuelta Espana hugged the Northern border of Spain during the second week of racing.  This brought the racers through a variety of terrain including stage 12 which ended in a sprint finish in the town of Bilbao.  The racing was tense throughout the middle section of the Vuelta.  Nairo Quintana, and his Movistar team, had their work cutout for them defending the leader's red jersey as the race traced its route through the Northern reaches of Spain. 

There aren't many wine regions along the Northern edge of Spain.  The race came closest to the Rioja DOC, home of a wide range of tantalizing Tempranillo.

This week's Lucha Vino match up features a Washington Tempranillo taking on Rioja.

2013 Saviah Cellars Tempranillo v. 2001 Diez Caballero Vendimia Seleccionada