Tuesday, August 19, 2014

WA Wine Month Syrah Slugfest

August is Washington Wine Month and I've got the fever!  The only cure is more Washington wine...

This week's matchup features two Washington State Syrahs that are eager to duke it out for state supremacy.

In the blue corner representing the Walla Walla AVA is the Balboa 2009 Syrah

And in the red corner representing the Royale Slope is the Southard 2009 Syrah

Monday, August 4, 2014

Washington Merlot v. St. Emillion

The latest edition of the Tour de France finished up during the last weekend of July.  This year's tour was light on drama in the context of overall victory - Vincenzo Nibali established a lead in the first week of the race and never let go.  Well, he did give up the Yellow Jersey on Bastille Day "as a gift to the French" according to his team's Director Sportif, Alexander Vinokourov.

The race itself was still interesting as the route traced its way through the Alpes and the Pyrenese mountain ranges.  This year the race spent a considerable amount of time traversing the South of France and through the Pyrenese where the final mountain top finish was waiting for the racers.  Once the Hautacam was conquered all that stood in the way of the Paris finish was a sprinter's stage and long (54 km) Time Trial.

The Time Trial started in Bergerac and finished in Periguex, slightly East of the Bordeaux wine region.  That is close enough to Bordeaux to earn top billing on this week's Lucha Vino challenge.

2009 Alexandria Nicole Gravity Merlot v. 2009 Chateau Lyonnat Lussac St. Emilion

The French had their best Tour de France finish in almost 20 years placing two riders on the podium in second and third place.  Can the Ch. Lyonnat follow up that performance with a victory in this week's challenge.  Let's find out...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WA Claret v. Bordeaux

The 2014 edition of the Tour de France kicked off this past weekend in Yorkshire with the first three stages of the race all taking place in Great Britain.

The Brits like to call wine from Bordeaux a "Claret."  To honor the start of le Tour and British style the Lucha Vino challenge features a Claret from Medoc and a Cabernet Sauvignon dominated blend from Washington.

2008 OS Winery BSH v. 2008 Chateau D'Escot Medoc

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Washington GSM v. Cotes du Rhone

The Criterium du Dauphine' is one of the final tune up stage races as the pros get ready for the Tour de France.  The Dauphine' is great training because it follows many of the routes used on the le Tour.  The stages in the week long race will also often mimic stages the riders will experience in July.  In the past several years the winner of the Dauphine' has gone on to win the Tour de France.

This year's edition of the race rolls through the Rhone Valley and through Provence before heading back for a couple of mountainous stages to wrap things up with a bang.  The race featured the top contenders for the Tour de France.  Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali are expected to be the top three riders battling for the crown in July.  They did not disappoint in this year's Dauphine with numerous attacks and spirited uphill skirmishes.

In the end, Andrew Talansky took the overall victory.  Nobody saw that coming.  Well, maybe the Garmin Director Sportif, Jonathan Vaughters saw it.  But he would have been the only one outside the Garmin team.  Talansky took the (well earned) overall victory on the final stage of the race.

This week's Lucha Vino matchup takes a trip to the south of France with a tour de force through the Cotes du Rhone AOC.

2008 Brian Carter Byzance v. 2011 Alain Jaume & Fils Domaine Grand Veneur Les Champouvins