Cycles Gladiator Merlot 2013
Review by Eric Tansey, CSW
Originally created more than 10 years ago, this beautiful “lady on a bike” is back! This iconic wine label has quite the story. The wine was created by Adam LaZarre, and hailed from California’s Central Coast. After the wine label became a hit, LaZarre sold the brand. The label was changed and the grapes were sourced from “Anywhere, California.” This had devastating effects on both the label and brand together. Wine entrepreneur, Dennis Carroll, decided to buy the label and bring the wine back to its former glory, and he brought it back with a vengeance. He called LaZarre and asked him to rescue the iconic wine he had once created. LaZarre agreed and immediately got to work. He started by sourcing the grapes from the Central Coast once again, mainly the Paso Robles and Arroyo Secco AVAs. Adam completely took over by selecting the vineyards, managing the farming, and taking control of the winemaking process from start to finish. He has stamped all the bottles with a new seal that indicates it as the “New Cycles Gladiator.”
I reviewed this wine almost 7 years ago and I am so excited to review it once again. This wine exhibits a fantastic and powerful nose. Aromas of ripe black fruits, cedar, and a hint of dusty road. On the front of the palate, characteristics of black cherries and berries, moving toward a dusty and earthy mid-palate. Lifted tannins, from the touch of Cabernet Sauvignon that has been blended into the wine, give the wine solid structure and backbone. This wine shows a great balance of oak, tannin and acidity. It is still on the fruit-forward side, but the touch of dusty terroir brings it back into balance. A great label, great story, and excellent juice at a good price are the collective criteria for getting a wine into our shop, and this wine brings the total package. Pair with steak (perhaps with a red wine reduction glazed over the top), red sauce pastas, and of course, grilled hamburgers. Cheers!
- Varietal- 88% Merlot 12% Cabernet Sauvignon
- Central Coast
- Vineyard to Table- Adam LaZarre 22% New French Oak 12% New American oak
“A fantastic story of art, buisness, and craft. A story about the fall and rise of one of the first wines I ever reviewed.”
|Wine Type||Temperature °F||Temperature °C|
|Champagne, Sparkling, and Dessert Wine||40° F||5° C|
|Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio||45-48°F||7-9° C|
|Chardonnay, Chablis||48-52°F||9-11° C|
|Pinot Noir||60-64°||16-18° C|
|Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz||64-66° F||18-19° C|
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