The Giro d'Italia kicks off on May 9th in Belfast. Wait. What?! Belfast? You might be saying "I don't remember an Italian town named Belfast!" You would be correct. This year's race starts off with three stages in Ireland before the racers transfer to Southern Italy.
Like many of the pros, I was hanging out last week putting the finishing touches on my form for the big race. I chose to hang out in Northern Italy. In Lombardia to be exact, a wine region just across the border from the Tour du Romandie, a major Tour de France tune up race held in Switzerland. Did you know that Switzerland only exports 2% of their wines? Its true. One more reason I was hanging out in Lombardia...
This week's challenge features a Barbera from the Oltrepo Pavese DOC taking on a Washington State Barbera from the Yakima Valley.
2011 Cantina di Casteggio Bronis Barbera v. 2008 Cavatappi Barbera
Tale of the Tape
100% Boushey Vineyard Barbera from the Yakima AVA
Purchased for $18 from Full Pull Wines
2011 Bronis Barbera
100% Barbera from the Oltrepo Pavese DOC in Lombardia
Purchased for $10 from Full Pull Wines
Round 1. First opening
Cavatappi steps into the
ring and immediately takes the fight directly to the Lombardia
challenger! The Washington Barbera is showing a nose of dark currants,
smoky sandalwood and dry cedar herbs. The palate is dark and robust
with notes of dark cherries, currants, clove spices some hints of
tobacco leaf followed by a sweet finish that repeats some tobacco leaf
The Bronis Barbera is on the move, bobbing
and weaving, launching a variety of counter attacks. The nose is light
and bright with notes of bing cherry and some pine needles. The palate
also features cherries, light smoke and some white pepper with a robust
Cavatappi overpowers the Bronis challenger from Lombardia to take round 1.
Round 2. One hour after opening
Cavatappi champion is building strength and showing some stamina in
round 2. The nose is dark and rich with black cherry and funky, chalky
powdery spices. The palate is slightly dry with black cherry, clove
spices and some peppery dry tannins on the finish.
is altering tactics and looking for an opening to attack. The nose is
showing cherries, hazelnut and sweet anise spices. The palate repeats
the bing cherry character along with tobacco leaf and tart subtle spices
on the finish.
Bronis put up a good fight, but Cavatappi takes the second round for a commanding 2-0 lead.
Round 3. One day after opening
This is it. Last chance for Lombardia to mount a comeback and win this bout. It is going to take a knock out to claim the victory. What does the Italian challenger have in store for the Cavatappi champion from Washington State?!
The Bronis Barbera is continuing to evolve showing dusty menthol spices and dried cherries on the nose. The palate forms a one-two punch by featuring dried cherries and menthol spices with some dry cocoa powder and dry tart cherry bark mingling together on a slightly savory finish.
Wrap up and overall observations
The Cavatappi Barbera was another great Italian inspired gem from this winery. The Italian grapes from Boushey vineyards are showing some excellent varietal character too. Seek these wines out. If you can find them, buy them!
The Bronis Barbera was a stellar wine for the $10 price. Thanks to Paul at Full Pull for finding us these great wines at great prices.
I would recommend both of these Luchadors and look forward to featuring them in future matches!