Monday, April 14, 2014

Washington Red v. California Red

This is an awesome time of year for bike racing with the Spring Classics.  From a wine perspective, things are not so awesome.  You see, most of the Spring Classics are one day races that happen in Belgium.  If you were doing beer comparisons you would be in heaven.  Over here at the Lucha Vino ranch we're doing wine comparisons so I have to search a bit more to pick my opponents.

This past week the Redland Classic stage race took place in California.  This is a great race for the domestic US racers and gave me a good opportunity to do a Washington v. California matchup.

2007 Robert Foley The Griffin v. 2008 Seven Hills Ciel du Cheval

These two wines have similar percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  The California red blends in Petit Sirah while the Washington red brings Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc to the party.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Washington Grenache v. Priorat

The stage racers spent a week in North Eastern Spain racing the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya last week.  You would think that Spain is a nice sunny place to visit this time of year.  The weather might be sunny in the Southern or central parts of the country, but Catalunya was not so nice.  The province is hilly and mountainous with heights reaching elevations of 2200 meters.

The race was one for the climbers.  Catalunya's own Joaquin Rodriguez (el Purito) won the overall general classification with Alberto Cantador coming in 2nd four seconds behind and America's TJ Van Garderen was third three more seconds back.  TJ is a bright young star and this finish shows that he is working his way toward a fine showing in some of this season's bigger races.

The Lucha Vino challenge features a blend of Carignan, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon from Priorat taking on a Washington State Grenache.

2011 Syncline Grenache v. 2005 Lipscom & Tobella Priorat Mosaic

Friday, March 21, 2014

Washington GSM Blend v. Chateauneuf du Pape

The Pro Cyclists just completed Paris-Nice, also known as the The Race to the Sun.  This traditional early season race starts in Paris and heads South to Nice.  The finish is in the coastal town of Nice (Duh! It is right there in the name of the race).

The final stage of the race was won by Arthur Vichot, the French National Champion.  A great finish that is sure to give a boost to French national pride.

The race touched down near Chateauneuf du Pape for the start of the sixth stage of the race.  That seems like a good enough reason to feature a Washington Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre blend taking on a Chateauneuf du Pape challenger.

2008 Rotie Cellars Southern Blend v. 2010 Domaine du Pere Pape CdP la Crau de Ma Mere

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Washington Sangiovese v. Chianti Classico

In the immortal words of George Castanza... "I'm back baby!"  I have been on a bit of a hiatus from wine writing the past 6 months.  Now that I have completed my Executive Leadership Program at Seattle University it is time to get back to the wine business.

March is a great time to return too.  It is Washington Wine Month AND one of the most stylish one day races takes place in Tuscany during the first weeks of March.  The Strade Bianche covers nearly 200 kilometers that include 10 sections of white dirt and gravel roads.  The strade bianche cover 54 of the 200 kilometers and make for some interesting racing.

This week's Lucha Vino matchup honors Italian bike racing flare with a classic Yakima Valley Sangiovese from Eight Bells winery taking on an old Chianti Classico from Tuscany.

2010 Eight Bells Sangiovese v. 2009 Villa Cafaggio Chianti Classico