The Vuelta a Espana is the final grand tour of the season for the pro cyclists. This race never gets the credit it deserves since it happens so late in the season. By now, the Tour de France has already happened and most cycling fans are preparing for Cyclo-Cross or the World Championships. That means that some high class racing usually goes unnoticed.
Well. Surprise, surprise! This years Vuelta has been more exciting than the Tour de France. The race started in the North Western Spain and featured plenty of exciting racing. The action in the first week of racing featured a team time trial, sprints, mountain top finishes and several changes in the overall race leadership.
This week's Lucha Vino challange features an Albarino from Washington taking on a classic Albarino from Rias Baixas.
2015 Crayelle Albarino v. 2015 Granbazan Albarino
Tale of the Tape
2015 Crayelle Albarino
Albarino from the Evergreen Vineyard in the Ancient Lakes AVA
Provided as a sample by the winery. Available at retail for $21.00
2015 Granbazan Albarino
100% Alabarino from the estate vineyard in Vilanova de Arousa
Purchased at the Spanish Table for $16.99.
Round 1. First opening
The Spanish Granbazan Luchador charges the ring with a flourish. The nose has character of peaches, honey dew melons, herbal notes of green grass and a zingy citrus twist of lemon zest. The palate follows up with green apple, grape fruit, light saline notes of sea breeze backed with loads of bright acidity.
Crayelle is counter attacking with surprising clean and crisp agility. Circling the ring and confounding the Granbazan with a crisp nose of white flowers and lemon zest. The palate features honey dew melon, tropical notes of jack fruit and lemon zest fueled acidity.
The judges had a hard time scoring this round and ended up giving the points to Granbazan; rewarding a slightly more aggressive attack.
Round 2. One hour after opening
The Granbazan is showing stamina and consistency with a nose featuring honey dew melon, white flowers, peaches and light lemon zest. The palate continues to show green apple and sea breeze while the citrus notes have evolved to show more lime character; all still backed up by a solid streak of acidity.
The Crayelle Luchador is fired up, leaping into the ring and taking down the Spanish challenger with a nasty drop kick. The nose is showing more herbal character along with white flowers, melon and lemon zest. The palate is opening up with lemon zest, tropical notes featuring jack fruit and balanced out with a dyn-o-mite punch of acidity.
Crayelle dominates round 2 and evens the match at 1 point a piece.
Round 3. One day after opening
This is it. The match is tied at one point for Washington and one point for Spain. The winner of round 3 will take the match and be crowned the king of Albarino!
The Spanish Luchador is getting moody, a bit dark and brooding. The nose is slightly darker with more mineral sea breeze notes followed by white flowers and melon. The palate continues to show off with notes of white flowers, tart mineral tinged melon and light citrus acidity that is still rocking.
Crayelle is holding strong with a nose that is a bit lighter showing white flowers, pear, melon and a light twist of lemon. The palate shows green apple, sweet white flowers, honey dew melon tropical fruit notes and a strong zing of acidity.
Crayelle takes round 3 by holding strong and dominating the Rias Baixas Granbazan challenger.
Wrap up and overall observations.
When the Lucha Vino challenge features a white wine the luchadors stay chilled in the wine fridge anticipating the start of the match. After opening, they stay at room temperature for an hour preparing for the second round. Finally, the wine luchadors return to the fridge to wait for the start of round three the next day.
Both of these Albarinos showed excellent body, floral character and lively acidity. I would definitely recommend both as a great option when you are looking for a white wine with the right touch of sweetness and acidity. These wines are built for pairing with food, especially spicy Thai and Indian dishes!