Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cycles Gladiator Merlot 2014

Cycles Gladiator Merlot 2014

Adam LaZarre grew up near the Finger Lakes in upstate New York, in a family interested in wine. After a stint in the Navy, he attended California’s Fresno State’s Department of Viticulture and Enology, worked for a few wine companies, then started Cycles Gladiator in 2005. He used an iconic image of a naked, curvy blonde siren on a bicycle to attract as many wine lovers as possible to Cycles Gladiator wines. Philosophical differences took Adam elsewhere, but when Wine Hooligans acquired the brand in 2013, he returned to helm the new course. A renewed focus on the Central Coast of California led to long-term sourcing agreements - this allows Adam to selects the vineyard, oversee the farming, and maintain control over every aspect of winemaking.

According to Adam: " 2014 was a fabulous vintage for the Central Coast. Perhaps as good as the acclaimed 2007 vintage. Very little rain, if any, allowed vineyard managers and growers to completely control the timing and amounts of water and nutrients, and thus, allowing for a a very generous yield while maintaining small berry size and an early harvest. The reds kick tush."

Tasting Notes:
Merlot 2014: 86% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Syrah; aged 18 months in 15% new French and American oak, balance in neutral of same; dark ruby color; dark fruit, earth, and tart red berry aromas; smoky dark fruit flavors; smooth mouthfeel, with an acidic touch leading into a slightly tannic finish; twist-off closure; SRP $11.
Suggested pairings: carnitas tacos; Peking Duck; or a fatty burger (piled high with avocado, molé, garlic aioli, and Berkswell cheese.

Wine provided for editorial purposes - all opinions are my own.

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