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

Saturday, May 31, 2014

WA Nebbiolo v. Barbaresco

Last week featured an Italian wine lover's dream stage in the Giro d'Italia.  A point to point time trial from Barbaresco to Barolo.  Are you kidding me?  You would have to time me with a calendar if I was doing THAT time trial!

Of course, the pros are paid to race their bikes so there is no time for hanging out and drinking the excellent Northern Italian wines made from the Nebbiolo grapes available in these two areas within the Piemonte region.

My friend, and occasional Lucha Vino contributor, Richard Foxall hit me up to see if I might want to include a feature on Peimonte wines since he happened to be in the region.  That question lead to the first truly international Lucha Vino challenge.  Richard provides the tasting notes and commentary for the Barbaresco challenger and I provide the counter attack from the Washington Nebbiolo representative.

Cana's Feast 2008 Nebbiolo v. Rivella Serafino  di Rivella Teobaldo Barbaresco Montestefano 2008 

Friday, May 23, 2014

WA Sangiovese v. Chianti Classico

After a few days in Ireland the pro cyclists boarded several airplanes to fly to the far South of Italy to start the Giro d'Italia properly last week.  They followed a route that went Southwest and then made a hard right turn and started North.  The route covered a variety of DOCs that feature the Sangiovese grape.  The route also featured a high number of crashes and top rider casualties.  This year's race has been a bit weird...

This week's Lucha Vino challenge pays tribute to Italy's grand grape, Sangiovese.

2011 Kaella Sangiovese v. 1995 Fattoria de Falsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva