Sunday, November 15, 2020

Washington Tempranillo vs. Rioja

In this strange year, La Vuelta Espana received much more attention than usual and the race delivered.  There was drama and lively racing through all 3 weeks of the race.  This year's route brought the pro cyclists to Northern Spain and featured its typical steady diet of challenging climbs and mountain top finishes.

After losing his grip on the Tour de France on the final competitive stage, Primoz Roglic had his sights set on winning his second Vuelta.  In order to achieve his goal Roglic had to go up against a formative cast of challengers including Chris Froome and Richard Carapaz.  Carapaz turned out to be his primary rival as they traded the overall race lead back and forth while racing through Northern Spain.

Once again, Roglic found himself facing a crushing defeat on the final competitive stage of a grand tour.  Entering the day Roglic held a 45 second lead over Richard Carapaz with the GC Victory appearing to be safely in his grasp. However, on the slopes of La Covatilla Carapaz burst away from a small group of GC contenders rapidly opening a lead of 25 seconds over Roglic.  

This time, Roglic stood up to the pressure limiting his losses, avoiding a repeat of his worst nightmare, to hold on to overall victory.  

This week's Lucha Vino matchup celebrates Roglic vanquishing his nightmare with The Walls 2018 Wonderful Nightmare vs. Bodegas Lan's 2010 Rioja Gran Reserva.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Washington Brut Prestige vs. Champagne

The Tour de France wrapped up with the usual parade to the Champs-Elyses featuring another day for the sprinters to put their speed on display.  Even though this is the final stage of the race, there is an unspoken rule among the racers that the previous day is the last day to attack for the race lead.

Stage 20 of this year's Tour provided plenty of drama.  An uphill time trial that would pit each rider against one another - mano a mano!  Primoz Roglic came in to the day with a 57 second lead over his Slovanian compatriat Tadej Pogacar.  Roglic was expected to protect his lead and ride into Paris in the leader's yellow jersey. 

Sadly, fate was not on Rogilic's side.  He had a bad day on the bike while Pogacar had an amazing day.  The result was a stunning twist of fortune with Pogacar taking the yellow jersey  and the overall Tour victory.

Typically, there is lively celebration with Champagne at the end of each stage and the end of le Tour.  I don't recall seeing much spraying of Champagne at the end of this year's stages.  And with the World Championships taking place the week following the end of the Tour de France, there was not much time to savor the victory.

Lucha Vino is taking time to slow down and celebrate with a matchup of Washington Sparkling wine and French Champagne.

Treveri Cellars 2015 Brut Prestige vs. Copinet Blanc de Blancs

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Washington Syrah vs. The Rhone

We had to wait almost two months for a delayed Tour de France to begin and, so far, the racing has been dynamic and extremely exciting!

The tour began in Nice traveling along the Southern border of France and through the Pyrenees mountains.  After a rest day, the cyclists began racing to the West heading toward the Alps through the Masif Central mountains, touching the Northern reaches of the Rhone' valley and finishing a lively stage 14 in Lyon.  

Lyon is where we find this week's challenge hero, Stanley Groovy, touring around France on his bicycle and waiting for the Tour to arrive.  Stanley has been making friends, enjoying the local cycling, food and wine and sharing some Washington wine with his hosts throughout Southern France.

One of Stanley's favorite Washington wines is from The Walls in Walla Walla.  Stanley is confident that his favorite can take on any French challenger.  This week's challenge will see if Stanley's choice is up to the task. 

2015 Gaspard Syrah from Red Mountain vs. 2012 La Chaussynette Vin de France from Mas de Boislauzon.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Washington Rose' vs. Provence

The 107th edition of the Tour de France is set to start in just a few days.  After a nearly two month delay, the tour will get underway in Nice on Sunday, which seems fitting since one of the last pre-Covid races to be completed on the normal calendar was Paris-Nice.  

Even though Paris-Nice was run, it still was not exempt from the challenges of the pandemic. The race was shortened by one day, removing the traditional stage in Nice.

When I think of Nice, I think of Southern France.  And when I think of southern France, I think of rose'!

The latest Lucha Vino challenge features a Washington Rose' taking on a Rose' from Provence to celebrate the return of the grand tours.

2018 T2 Cellars Rose' of Counoise vs. 2019 Miraval Rose' from Provence