Friday, August 23, 2013

On Not Drinking the Vuelta (Again)
I am no Adam Hansen. Hansen, a shoe designer, leadout train member extraordinaire and rather awesome tweeter is currently aiming to complete his seventh consecutive Grand Tour. As much as I enjoy drinking the wines of the Giro and of the Tour de France, I have yet to drink the wines of the Vuelta. One of these years I will (and will probably start here), but not 2013. 

But, I'll certainly be watching. The startlist includes names like Vincenzo Nibali, Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez, Sergio Henao, Rigoberto Uràn, Ivan Basso and more. The route map is above. I'm very fond of the Podium Cafe race viewing preview and I am hoping that they  may host another Stage Predictor game. There is also good race information on Inrng.

That said, I was sent wine samples that correspond to three of the Vuelta stages by the folks promoting the Spain’s Great Match event, a wine and food event taking place in New York on September 24th. Wines information in italics below comes from their promotional materials


Stage 5: Rey Santo Rueda 2012 is a white wine made in the region of Rueda near the Lago de Sanabria stop in the race. It is a blend of estate grown grapes from 10-year old Verdejo and 40-year-old Viura vines. Information from the importer is here. and the producer here.  

 In Spain, Rueda whites are called the most popular white wines. Rueda wines have a refreshing distinct flavor, known for a hint of herbs, a balanced minerality and an excellent level of acidity. The wines are crisp, filled with tropical and stone fruit. Known as “the people’s white,” Rueda wines are accessible and versatile, a perfect pairing with seafood, salad, white meats, pasta and more. 

I found it fragrant and herbal, with lots of fruit, a very easy-drinking summer white. 

Stage 10: 2008 Casa Gualda La Mancha Seleccion Cincuenta Anniversario A blend of Tempranillo, Petit Verdot and Syrah. It spends four-months in new French and American oak barrel and 1 year for semi-new barrels and is made very near the Torredelcampo stop. The producer website is here.

Stage 21: ARRAYAN SELECCION 2009  A blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot that is aged for eight months in French oak casks. It is made north of Toledo southwest of Madrid near the end of the race. The producer website is here.

These two wines are from the region of Castilla la Mancha which is a large wine producing region south of Madrid on the vast central Iberian plateau. More than half of the country's grapes are grown here. They are characterised, above all the young wines, by being very expressive in the nose, for their fruitiness (black fruits, mature fruits, cherry, strawberry, redcurrant), their strong colour, generally an intense purple-red with purple rims. In the mouth they have structure and strength, with lively and persistent tannins.

I say: Indeed, lots of fruit here along with some leather, spice and sweetness. Persistent tannin indeed, especially on the Arrayan. Some licorice on the Casa Gualda.

1 comment:

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