Sunday, September 24, 2017

Washington Tempranillo vs. Rioja

This year's Vuelta a Espana was action packed throughout all three weeks of racing.  Things really heated up during the last week of the race, which featured some intense racing through the Northern most mountains of Spain.  Chris Froome held off all the challengers to win his second Grand Tour of the year and Alberto Contador went on one final mountain rampage to win, perhaps, his final Grand Tour stage.

In recognition of the racing action in Northern Spain, this week's Lucha Vino matchup features a Washington Tempranillo taking on a Spanish Tempranillo from Rioja.  Rioja is one of the Northernmost wine regions of Spain.  It primarily features Tempranillo and consistently turns out excellent wines year after year.

2014 Kerloo Cellars Tempranillo vs. 2011 Muga Rioja Seleccion Especial

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Washington Chardonnay vs. Macon-Villages

The 2017 edition of the Tour de France wrapped up last week with Chris Froome taking his fourth TdF victory.  The overall victory wasn't sealed until the time trial on the penultimate day of the tour.  However, Froome's victory wasn't much of a surprise (again).

There were other surprises in the race.  Peter Sagan, the world champion, was disqualified after Stage 4 for reckless sprinting.  Ritchie Porte, a top contender, crashed out of the race when he failed to negotiate a turn while descending the Mont de Chat on stage 9.  Marcel Kittel was leading the Green Jersey competition when he had to abandon the race due to a crash on stage 17.

When a race covers 21 stages and thousands of kilometers, there are plenty of opportunities for unusual things to happen.  Just like the tour, this week's challenge brings out some surprises from the first week of the tour when the racers swept through the Burgundy region.

Instead of Burgundy vs. Pinot Noir, I bring on my own style of surprise with a Chardonnay clash of the titans.

2012 Rulo Chardonnay v. 2014 Joseph Drouhin Macon-Villages

Tale of the Tape

Friday, June 30, 2017

Washington BDX Style Blend vs. Right Bank Bordeaux

The Tour de France starts on Saturday.  This year's route covers 3,540 km over 21 stages with plenty of terrain that offers the opportunity for a variety of riders to achieve victory.  In the end, there is only one true winner - the rider that arrives in Paris wearing the Maillot Jaune, aka The Yellow Jersey.  This is the rider that completes all 21 stages in the fastest cumulative time.

There are other jerseys are on the line too, including:
  • The Green Jersey for the best all around rider.  This jersey has come to be known as the Sprinter's Jersey in recent history.
  • The Polka Dot Jersey for the best mountain climber.  This rider is also known as the King of the Mountains.
  • The White Jersey for the best young rider.  This is the highest placed racer under the age of 23.
All these opportunities add up to multiple races within the bigger race.  There are more than a handful of racers eyeing victory in this year's tour.  All the top riders finished off their preparation with the Criterium du Dauphine or the Tour de Suise.

Just like the pro racers, I've topped off my Tour preparation with a recent Bordeaux Right Bank Ruckus featuring St. Emilion vs. Washington.

2014 Auclair Right Blend vs. 2008 Chateau Barde-Haut Saint-Emilion Grand Cru

Monday, May 22, 2017

Washington Red vs. California Meritage

The Tour of California overlaps with the Giro d' Italia.  It typically attracts racers that are preparing for the Tour de France or trying to earn a spot on their team's Tour squad.

This year the race started in Sacramento and headed South, finishing in Pasadena.  As the racers toed the line for the first two stages they may have had the opportunity to enjoy some wines from Sonoma.

This week's challenge features a Washington Bordeaux Style blend taking on a California Dry Creek Meritage challenger.

2014 Mullan Road Cellars Red Wine vs. 2012 Dry Creek Vineyard The Mariner

Andrew Talansky won the "Queen Stage" of the race on top of Mt. Baldy.  Talansky's nickname is The Pit Bull because he never gives up.  Just like Andrew Talansky, both these red wines are focused and assertive.