The Vuelta Espana started on Saturday with a Team Time Trial (TTT) If you have Universal Sports on your TV you can watch all the stages (live and replayed). There are lots of other Internet Video Streaming feeds too. Check out CyclingFans.com It is a good source for streaming video and details about the races.
The first week of the race is through South East Spain where the red variety Monastrell is the predominant grape. I wonder what type of "recovery drink" the racers will be enjoying?
The first Vuelta Espana Lucha Vino matchup features a 2008 Bodegas Castano Hecula Monastrell v. 2008 McCrea Cellars Mourvedre
Tale of the Tape
Bodegas Castano Hecula Monastrell
100% Monastrell from the Yecla D.O.
Purchased from Bin 41 for $12.
McCrea Cellars Mourvedre
76% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah, 4% Grenache from the Ciel du Cheval, Elephant Mountain and Sugarloaf vineyards in Red Mountain and the Yakima Valley AVAs.
Purchased from McCrea Cellars at the Urban Enoteca tasting room for $28.
Round 1. First Opening:
The Hecula has a nose that is earthy, with pungent minerals and dark stone fruit. The palate is mostly currant with some cedar notes and a dry cherry bark finish.
McCrea's Mourvedre is showing a nose of smoked meat, pepper, earth, cedar spice and dark red fruit. The palate is black cherry, Asian spice and a touch of cedar cigar box with a dry finish featuring notes of all spice.
The Monastrell is down to earth, coming into the ring firing with both barrels. The McCrea Cellars Mourvedre is more layered and complex easily taking round 1 with a variety of kung fu moves.
Round 2. One hour after Opening
The Hecula nose is showing some interesting notes of camp fire, funk and red fruit. The palate is cherries, menthol and dry cedar spice that clings on to a dry finish.
The Mourvedre has a nose of smoked meat, salt n peppa and some cedar spice. The palate is still showing currant, Asian spice and a cedar spicebox finish.
The Hecula Monastrell has built up some more interest on the nose and the palate while the Mourvedre has evolved slightly from the first round. This round was closer with the McCrea Mourvedre barely hanging on to take the second round.
Round 3. One day later
The Hecula has a nose of ark red fruit and earth. The palate is currants, black cherry, cedar and spices. The finish is dry cedar and spice.
The McCrea is showing a funky dark fruit nose with a palate of black cherry and some slight bitterness that lingers on to the finish that is dry and dominated by cherry bark.
Both Luchadors lost some of their swagger over night with the McCrea losing quite a bit of its complexity.
Round three goes to the Hecula Monastrell.
Wrap up and over all observations
Being a simple-minded Luchador, I had no idea that Monastrell and Mourvedre are the same grape. So, I learned something new during this match. I also learned that there is not very much Mourvedre growing in Washington.
The final score was McCrea 2 and Hecula 1. I have to say that this was another match that was closer than the final score. Also, the Spanish Monastrell put up a huge fight against the WA State Mourvedre that cost more than twice as much as the Monastrell. The Monastrell may have also been at a disadvantage since the McCrea Mourvedre had some hidden Syrah and Grenache tag team partners. Before you cry foul, remember nobody ever said wrestling was fair!
I give the McCrea Mourvedre an 87 and the Hecula Monastrell an 86.