This is the time of year when the pros are searching for warm training environs so they can get back to the ABCs of bike racing. All the contracts are signed and the team rosters are set. Some of the teams are holding training camps and team building experiences like swimming with dolphins, playing war games or pretending to be mountain climbers.
Whatever the activity may be, it is all about getting on the same page, building some comaraderie and getting the ABCs for their season dialed in
This week's Lucha Vino challenge features the ABC (and Ws) of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Argentina Crios 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon v. 2009 Brand Cabernet Sauvignon from Walla Walla
Tale of the Tape
2009 Brand Cabernet Sauvignon
80% Cabernet Sauvignon & 20% Merlot From Pepper Bridge Vineyards in Walla Walla
Purchased from Full Pull for $13.49.
2009 Crios Cabernet Sauvignon
95% Cabernet Sauvignon & 5% Malbec
Aged for 9 months in 70% French and 30% American Oak Barrels
Purchased from Garagiste for $11.96.
Round 1 First opening
Brand is getting aggressive right from the start. The nose is showing dusty raspberry, some funkiness and light vanilla. The palate is tart red berries with hints of vanilla and a tart spiced finish.
The Crios is tight and running scared. The nose is featuring leather, light smoke and cranberry. The palate is dark and sweet with brown sugar, cherries and a sweet cherry finish. This Luchador from Argentina is trying to kill the Walla Walla Brand Bomber with sweetness.
Round one goes to Brand.
Round 2 One hour later
Brand is getting busy and bulking up with a nose of dark currant, black cherry and cedar spices. The palate is featuring black cherry, cedar and Asian spices with a tart menthol spice finish.
Crios is trying to step up with a nose that features earthy currant and hints of smoke. The palate is sweet and smoky with dark cherries followed by a sweet plum tinged finish.
This round was closer, but the Brand Bomber took the points again.
Round 3 One day later
Brand is showing some stamina with a nose of dark cherry, currant and barrel spices. The palate is equally bold with black cherry and tart coffee beans with a tart menthol finish.
Crios hit the weights between rounds busting out with a nose of earthy currant and smoke. The palate is featuring sweet smoky dark cherry and a sweet finish.
Crios is getting closer, but runs out of time. Brand takes the final round for a clean sweep and a 3-0 victory.
Wrap up and overall observations
The Brand Cabernet from Walla Walla was showing off from the get go. It had plenty of Walla Walla character with dark fruit, pepper and smoke. This Cab is a beast at under 20 bucks.
Crios really went through a metamorphosis as the match unfolded. It was really tight and tart when first opened and then continued to build a dark interesting character.
I would give the Brand an 86 and the Crios an 85.