Saturday, April 20, 2013

Toro, Toro, Toro! Tinta de Toro v. Washington

The stage races in Northern Spain are wrapping up with the Vuelta Castilla y Leon.  This race used to be longer, but has been reduced to three stages due to lack of sponsor funding.  The race route travels North from Madrid and passes reasonably close to the Toro D.O.

This week's challenge features a Spanish Tempranillo from the Toro D.O. battling with a Washington state Tempranillo.

2010 Vina Salida Tempranillo v. 2008 Bodega Teso la Monja Almirez Tinta de Toro

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Washington Graciano v. Navarra

This challenge began when I met Javier Alfonso at Taste WA.  He is the wine maker (and Janitor) at Pomum Cellars.  Idilico is his second label. Don't let that lead you to believe the Idilico wines are second rate.  Far from it. These wines are well put together and uniquely focused on Spanish varietals grown and raised in Washington.

Javier was pouring the Idilico Graciano from under the table at Taste WA.  He challenged me to find a 100% single varietal Spanish Graciano.  I took him up on the challenge and found the Zorzal conveniently resting in my cellar.  Game on!

The timing was perfect with the Vuelta Cicliste al Pais Vasco happening this past week in Northern Spain.  This is a unique race through the Basque country in Spain.  One of the unique features is the  stylish hat awarded to the stage winners as a prize.

Navarra v Washington in a battle of Grande Graciano Grapplers.

2007 Zorzal Graciano v. 2010 Idilico Graciano

Friday, April 5, 2013

Washington Tempranillo vs. Rioja

This past week featured a race that is sure to bring delight to a wine lover.  The Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja - the Tour of Rioja.  Who wouldn't love riding their bike around the Rioja DOC?  I know that I would!

This pro tour event used to be an actual "tour" with multiple stages.  But, with the hard financial times and less than altruistic bike racing ethos, sponsorship has fallen off and the event is now a one day race.  This year the winner was Francesco Lasca, an Italian that rides for the Spanish team Caja Rural.  The best placed Spanish rider was Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle from Euskaltel-Euskadi - the Spanish team that used to be comprised of all Basque Country riders until recently when pressure for race results outweighed regional pride when selecting their team.

This week's matchup honors the Rioja region and the King grape of Spain.

2009 Castillo de Feliciana Tempranillo v. 2006 Beronia Rioja Reserva