The pros are finishing up the first week of the Tour de France. The route has started heading South through Central France. There has been lots of action in the first week of the race, including the first Tour de France win for Washington's own Tyler Farrar on the 4th of July! Tyler is the first American to win a stage of the Tour on our Independence day.
Here are a couple of good reviews of the first week of racing. Robert Millar won the climbers jersey (polka dot jersey) in the 1984 edition of the Tour. He has a solid racer's perspective on the race. And here is a review from our anonymous insider. He has access to inside details and another good analysis of what has happened in the first week of the race. And finally, our Bike Snob talks about working for the weekend.
The Lucha Vino tour challenge picks up with a Bordeaux match up. Both of these Luchadors feature similar blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. They differ when it comes to the third varietal in the mix. Washington will feature Cab Franc, Bordeaux will feature Petite Verdot. A tag team match up with a Cab Franc v. Petite Verdot wild card thrown in for triple the fun.
2008 Fall Line Red Willow v. 2006 Chateau Moutte Blanc Grand Vin (Bordeaux Superieur)
Tale of the tape
2008 Fall Line Red Willow
53% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc sourced from the Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. Aged in 36% new French oak barrels for 18 months.
Purchased at the Fall Line winery for $28.
2006 Chateau Moutte Blanc Grand Vin (Bordeaux Superieur)
50% Merlot, 25% Cab, 25% petit verdot aged for 14 months in 30% new French Oak barrels.
Purchased for $15.83 from Garagiste.
This match up will feature covert tag in from Cab Franc and Petit Verdot as they lurk in the shadows waiting to pounce when least expected. Let's see what these black ops varietals bring into the ring.
Round 1. First Opening:
On first opening the Fall Line Red Willow has a nose of plum, toast, some peat bog funk with some cedar baking spices. The palate is big and spicy with plum, a bit of cedar, black cherry and toffee that lingers on into the finish.
The Chateau Moutte Blanc Grand Vin has a nose of earth, forest floor, underbrush and sour citrusy pie cherries. The palate features bright light red fruit with cranberries and a dry tart cedar finish.
The Red Willow is making like a Red Devil dealing out the pain right off the bat easily taking round one and putting the Grand Vin in a spot of bother.
Round 2. One hour after Opening
The Red Willow is really getting sassy. The nose has big notes of dark fruit, black cherry, coffee and some spicy cedar & cocoa. The palate is equally bold with rich spicy black cherry and semi-sweet chcocolate that moves on to a finish of espresso and more cedar spice.
The Grand Vin has loosened up a bit, but still seems to be a bit tight and intimidated by the Red Willow. Showing a nose of red fruit, brambles, white pepper and earth with a palate of red stoney fruit with a bit of menthol that finishes with tart cherry pit.
Round 2 goes to the Red Willow with the Grand Vin putting up little resistance.
Round 3. One day later
The Fall Line Red Willow is still dominating. The nose is dark red fruit, mineral with some forest floor funky mushrooms hinting in the background. The palate is still spicy with semi-sweet chocolate, rich red fruit and some coffee bean on the finish with steady notes of cedar and spice.
The Grand Vin is still dry and tart with the nose showing primarily funky underbrush with some light notes of cherry. The palate is tart pie cherry and cedar that moves on to the finish that is still quite dry with cherry bark and cherry pit on the finish.
The Red Willow easily takes round 3 and the match with a score of 3 - 0.
The French may have put a rider in the Yellow Jersey before the first rest day, but this French Luchador certainly did not strike much of a menacing pose. Nobody is going to mistake it for The Badger.
Wrap up and over all observations
The Washington Bordeaux style blend showed much more muscle than the actual Bordeaux Luchador. The Cab Franc secret ingredient may have been the kicker. Regardless this match was never in doubt with the Red Willow cracking the whip from the opening bell to the closing gong.
I give the Fall Line Red Willow an 88 and the Chateau Moutte Blanc an 85.