Thursday, August 30, 2012

Washington Grenache v. Montsant

The Vuelta a Espana started a week ago in North Central Spain and began following the race route to the East through the Navarra, Aragon and Catalunya DOs heading toward Barcelona.  The first week of the race featured a variety of terrain with a couple of uphill finishes forcing the favorites to actually race their bikes in the early part of this grand tour.

The Spanish racers are always motivated to make a good showing at their home race.  So, it is not surprising to see Joaquim Rodriguez in the leader's red jersey at the end of the first week of racing.

The Vuelta also features the return of Alberto Contador from his ban for testing positive for Clenbuterol (or as his story goes ingesting the illegal drug via a tainted piece of Spanish beef, sure...).  Contador's form is a mystery.  He has been near the top of the field for the first week of the race, but has not shown the dominating style he flashed prior to his ban.  Is he faking?  Was he doping? And now a "clean" Alberto Contador cannot match the doped up Contador performance?  Who knows?

Regardless of the Contador mystery, the racing has been compelling so far.  Continuing the mystery theme the Lucha Vino matchup features a mystery Grenache from Walla Walla this week.

2009 Renegade Wine Co. Grenache v. 2007 Celler de Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gold Medal Part II: Washington Cab Franc

Week 2 of the Olympics and another Gold Medal matchup is on tap.  Just how do these Olympians feel about not winning Gold?  Here is what Gregory Bauge, the World Champion Track Cyclist from France, said about winning Silver in the Men's Sprint finals

"I don't like losing. This is a defeat in a big event, it angers me. This is a failure for me personally," Baugé said. "It is four years that I've dominated in my discipline. I wanted gold, it's a disappointment. I do not train twice a day for this disappointment." (courtesy of cyclingnews).

Now you know how it feels to be the "first loser."

Track cyclists can be a fiesty lot.  In their honor this week's matchup features Cabernet Franc - a grape with a spicy personality of its own.

2007 Vin du Lac Barrel Select Cabernet Franc v. 2009 cloudlift Ascent

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gold Medal Washington Cabs

The Summer Olympics started this weekend in London and that got me inspired to think about medal winners. 

Here is a test.  Pick your favorite Olympics event.  Do you remember who came in 4th in the 2008 Olympics?  Do you remember who won the Silver medal?  How about the Gold?  If you are like me, you probably only remember the Gold medalist.  Most people are so focused on Gold they call everybody except the Gold medal winner a "loser."  Seriously?  If you won the Silver or Bronze you were still the 2nd or 3rd best person in the world on that day.  It might not have been gold, but Silver and Bronze doesn't seem like "losing" to me.

After all that philosophy, I am going with a Gold Medal matchup between two Washington State Cabernet Sauvignons this week.

2009 Cedar River Ava's Crush Cabernet Sauvignon v. 2009 JB Neufeld Artz Cabernet Sauvignon