The action comes late in this 151 kilometer stage running from Morbegno to San Pelligrino Terme, and the Passo di Ganda is the only climb on the schedule. The Giro races over mostly flat roads for the first 100 kilometers and passes through Bergamo. In Bergamo, the riders climb into Bergamo Alta, which served as a finishing town last year. No stopping this time, the stage leaves the city, and begins a gradual, grinding climb up the valley to the Passo di Ganda.
And it was another day for the break. In a tense sprint finish, it was Eros Capecchi who was victorious ahead of local rider Marco Pinotti and Kevin Seeldraeyers.
Pinotti led out the sprint, and with Seeldraeyers glued to the Italian’s wheel, Capecchi was in danger of being squeezed out. However, on the final left hand bend 200 metres from home, he nudged his way between Pinotti and Seeldraeyers. From there, it was a formality, and Capecchi careered past Pinotti to take the win.
Wine: 09 Vercesi Del Castellazzo Oltrepò Pavese Pezzalunga $16.99
Pezzalunga has been the name given to the hill located in front of Castellazzo, the Vercesi family's estate and former monastery, for generations. The perfectly positioned south east facing vineyards are planted using the guyot system, with 3600 vine stocks per hectare. The soil is clay/marly, not worked and covered by grass, with conditions that create a well balanced environment for the vines.
This wine is obtained from the most characteristic wines on the estate; Barbera 35%, Bonarda (Croatina) 35%, Uva Rara 15%, Pinto Nero 10%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%. Pezzalunga is bottled in the spring and stays in the cellar for some months before being released. This ensures the wine reaches a particularly fine level of quality. It is a full-bodied, flavorful wine, maintaining a delightful freshness. This wine is produced to be drunk young, but it can be aged for some years successfully, as time will exalt its better qualities.
I say: Wow. A red. And a really deep red (color) at that. Spicy nose. Red fruits but also nice acid on the finish. Pizza anyone?
And now a confession. . . This is actually my last wine of the Giro. The three remaining bottles will need to wait until after my trip to the Austrian Wine Summit. I'll be in Vienna, Carnuntum and Burgenland for the extended weekend. Thanks to the loaner ipad, I'll be sure to check in here or on twitter @educatedpalates.