Thursday, June 13, 2019

Washington Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Santa Cruz

Most stage races are won in the mountains.  The month of May includes two top stages races, The Tour of California and the Giro d'Italia.  Both races provide multiple mountain stages for the climbers to enforce their will on the rest of the peleton.

In this year's Tour of California Tadej Pogacar made the decisive move on the sixth stage to Mt. Baldy.  He started the day in fourth and took the overall lead be winning the final mountain finish of this year's race.

Wine challengers can try to follow the same strategy.  In this week's challenge California heads to the Santa Cruz Mountains to find their challenger for Cabernet Sauvignon supremacy!

Saviah Cellars 2014 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Mount Eden 2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Washington Cabernet Sauvignon vs. Australia

The pro race calendar typically gets kicked off with several stage races in Australia that follow the Australian national championships.  These early season races are often dominated by the Australians in the pro peleton since this is the only time they really get to race in front of their home country.  Also, most of the road cyclists are just coming off their off-season and are only beginning to think about building their form for the upcoming year.

The Tour Down Under and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour wrapped up a solid three weeks of January racing in Australia.  It came as no surprise that these races featured top results from Ritchie Porte, Daryl Impey and a surprise challenger from Canada, Michael Woods.  Porte is Australian. Impey is the defending Tour Down Under Champion. Both do well on the semi-hilly terrain that the Australian races have to offer.  Impey is the first rider to win back-to-back editions of the Tour Down Under.  Undoubtedly, this made his Australian based team, Mitchelton-Scott, very happy.

This week’s Lucha Vino challenge features a Washington Cabernet Sauvignon taking on a challenger from the McLaren Valle in Australia.

2015 Cooper Estate Cabernet Sauvignon vs. 2013 Davey Family D-Block Cabernet Sauvignon 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Washington Tempranillo vs. Rioja

Alejandro Valverde finally won the UCI World Championships this year after finishing in the top 3 in six previous editions of the World Championship road race.  He added the Gold Medal, on a hilly course in Innsbruck Austria, to go with his four bronze and two silver medals.

Even though Valverde has been implicated in past blood doping scandals, he has never failed a doping test.  This has lead to him being a polarizing figure in the pro cycling peloton.  Say what you will, but Valverde is the only racer to achieve success after emerging from the "doping era."  Most of his cycling peers that were implicated in doping schemes retired or never returned to anything representing their doping fueled form.

To recognize Valverde's world championship success and celebrate International Tempranillo day, this edition of the Lucha Vino challenge features a Washington Tempranillo taking on a challenger from Rioja.

2012 Idilico Tempranillo vs. 2010 Rioja La Tercera Reserva

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Stones Speak at Saviah Cellars

Rich Funk, of Saviah Cellars, is an awesome ambassador for The Rocks District of Milton Freewater AVA.  His winery is located just North of the Washington/Oregon state line that divides the Walla Walla Valley AVA.  The winery was founded in 2000 and has been turning out quality Washington wine ever since.

Back in 2000 Rich's family name didn't seem like a great name for a winery.  Fast forward to 2018 and "Funk" seems like the perfect name to represent a winery with 20 acres of estate vineyards located in The Rocks District of Milton Freewater.

Rich has two primary vineyards located in "The Rocks" - The Funk Estate vineyard and The Stones Speak vineyard.  These vineyards are dominated by Syrah plantings that find their way into three wines that make up Saviah's Estate Collection: The Stones Speak Syrah, Hunt and Gather and The Funk Syrah.

I made a quick side trip during the 2018 Wine Bloggers Conference to visit with Rich and taste some of his latest offerings.   Harvest is going full bore in Washington state and Saviah was definitely buzzing during my visit.  Rich was gracious enough to take some time out of his day to share stories and wine.

Here are three wines from The Rocks that definitely speak to the AVA's uniqueness: