Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wines of the Giro Stage 17!--%20[an%20error%20occurred%20while%20processing%20this%20directive]%20%20--%3E
Falzes/Pfazlen to Cortina d'Ampezzo
Stage type: High Mountain
Length of the course: 186 KM

I hope the peloton enjoyed the rest day Monday and the virtual rest day yesterday because today is a doozy. 

From Cycling Weekly:
It's a day in the Dolomites for the Giro, and what a day it is. Four monster climbs await the bunch on a day of serious ups and downs.
Both climbing and descending skills will be tested to the limit on the twisting roads to Cortina d'Ampezzo.
The one saving grace to the GC men is that the final mountain of Passo Giau peaks well before the stage finish, giving a small chance for daring descenders to catch any escapees before the line.

An early start today. This is the sort of day that would have a climber dreaming of the maglia rosa. For the other riders, it is a matter of survival.
From Mark Cavendish:
MarkCavendish May 22, 1:48pm via Twitter for iPad
The stage profile for tomorrow. Oh shit.

At least, I suppose the weather had improved, just in time for me to start dreaming of a vacation in the Dolomites. As always, cue a break. With about 68 km left, the five breakaway riders were still together but their lead was down to 2:42 with Liquigas at the front setting tempo for their GC hope, Ivan Basso. The peloton was shrinking rapidly, but all of the favorites were still together. I always feel for the riders falling off the back. They have lost their hope of stage glory, but to stay in the race have to climb within the time limit, something that can be very challenging on a day like today. 
More from twitter:
Liquigas slowly riding into the maglia rosa. Like a perverse game of Chinese water torture. #giro

With about 40 km to go, we saw some weakness from Roman Kreuziger, as he slipped back with Liquigas continuing to ride at the front. Finally, after hours of anticipation the "hard-pedaling" Szmyd moves to the front. Cue Jaws music. But then a puncture! A change would be necessary to their plan. Up they went until, finally there were six:  Basso, Scarponi, Ryder, Pozzovivo, Uran. Rodriguez, with a lot of glances around to check on their rivals. Eventually Basso, Pozzovivo, Rodriguez and Ryder reached the top together. Time for a really fast descent. Could Scarponi get back? Indeed he did and Uran as well so we were back to our group of six. Almost immediately Basso attacked but was chased down. At the line, Basso tried but but Rodriguez came around him and to take the win.
Tomorrow a sprint stage. 
Stage: Joaquim Rodriguez
Maglia rosa: Joaquim Rodriguez

Wine: 2010 Cantina Valle Isarco Kerner

From the producer:
The Kerner variety is a Schiava and Riesling hybrid created in Weinsberg (Germany) around 1930. It prefers the light, gravelly and sandy soils of the higher altitude, sunny hillsides of the mid Valle Isarco. Despite their late ripening period, these grapes provide a highly acclaimed full-bodied and tasty wine.
MEAN ANNUAL OUTPUT 80,000 bottles
PRODUCTION AREA Chiusa, Velturno, Bressanone, Funes, Renon
ALTITUDE 600–800 m
VINTAGE TIME beginning – middle of October, hand–picked
CHARACTERISTICS dry, fresh white wine
COLOUR straw–yellow with greenish hues
NOSE intense, aromatic
TASTE dry, full, aromatic, with light scent of muscat
MATCHINGS light hors d’oeuvres, cold meats, egg or mushroom dishes, poached freshwater fish and shellfish; an excellent aperitif

I say:  Another day in Alto Adige means another unusual white.  Very pale. Ripe fruit and floral at the start, but soon minerality dominates.Wiuld not have guessed 14.5%.

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