Thursday, April 24, 2014

WA Malbec v. Argentina

Last Thursday was World Malbec Day.  It was also a day when the pro cyclists were resting their legs and getting ready for Amstel Gold, the first hilly Spring Classic.  If you look at the profile of this race in the Ardennes region you might think you were looking at a well used comb!  This race had over 20 climbs.  Each one has a name and a certain character.  Most are short, with at least one brutally steep section.  For example, the Keutenberg has sections with grades of 20%

The three one day races that make up the Ardennes Classics are often a war of attrition with the winner typically making a powerful move on one of the final climbs.  This year's Amstel Gold followed the formula and former World Champion Phillipe Gilbert made the winning move on the final ascent of the Cauberg to take his third Amstel Gold victory.

There aren't many wines being made in the Ardennes region of Belgium.  So, this week the Lucha Vino challenge features two Malbecs battling it out in honor of World Malbec Day.

Olsen Estates 2009 Malbec v. Bodega Goulart Clasico 2011 Malbec

Monday, April 14, 2014

Washington Red v. California Red

This is an awesome time of year for bike racing with the Spring Classics.  From a wine perspective, things are not so awesome.  You see, most of the Spring Classics are one day races that happen in Belgium.  If you were doing beer comparisons you would be in heaven.  Over here at the Lucha Vino ranch we're doing wine comparisons so I have to search a bit more to pick my opponents.

This past week the Redland Classic stage race took place in California.  This is a great race for the domestic US racers and gave me a good opportunity to do a Washington v. California matchup.

2007 Robert Foley The Griffin v. 2008 Seven Hills Ciel du Cheval

These two wines have similar percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.  The California red blends in Petit Sirah while the Washington red brings Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc to the party.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Washington Grenache v. Priorat

The stage racers spent a week in North Eastern Spain racing the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya last week.  You would think that Spain is a nice sunny place to visit this time of year.  The weather might be sunny in the Southern or central parts of the country, but Catalunya was not so nice.  The province is hilly and mountainous with heights reaching elevations of 2200 meters.

The race was one for the climbers.  Catalunya's own Joaquin Rodriguez (el Purito) won the overall general classification with Alberto Cantador coming in 2nd four seconds behind and America's TJ Van Garderen was third three more seconds back.  TJ is a bright young star and this finish shows that he is working his way toward a fine showing in some of this season's bigger races.

The Lucha Vino challenge features a blend of Carignan, Garnacha and Cabernet Sauvignon from Priorat taking on a Washington State Grenache.

2011 Syncline Grenache v. 2005 Lipscom & Tobella Priorat Mosaic