Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wines of the Giro Stage 20: Stelvio and Marzemino
Caldes/Val di Sola to Passo dello Stelvio
Stage type: High Mountain
Length of the course: 219 KM

From Podium Cafe (and there is a lot more to their preview that you should read):Stage 20 runs from Cales/Val di Sole to the summit of the Passo dello Stelvio. To reach the finish, the riders must climb five significant passes: Passo del Tonale, the Aprica, Teglio, Passo di Mortirolo, and the massive Passo dello Stelvio. The stage runs 219 kilometers and will be a long day out for even the top riders. Spare a thought for the sprinters' gruppetto, as they will have a hard job of it to make it to the summit of the Stelvio in time.

And here we go. From twitter a good look at the road ahead (click the link):
EuroHoody 5:40am via Twitter for iPhone
Nice view on the Stelvio; wicked climb -glad I did it in a Peugeot (not much faster) #giro
 The break is established, with most of the favorites having teammates ahead to help later in the day In the maglia rosa group, Rodriguez decided to test his rivals:
TeamSky 5:57am via Web
Rodriguez in the maglia rosa attacks on the Mortirolo! Huge move with Hesjedal and Scarponi following! #Giro

But it went nowhere and the group stayed together. Ahead, Zaugg went out alone.  
With about 40 k to go and the Stelvio looming they remained together. 

37 km to go: Zaugg on the front > De Gendt, Carrara, Cunego, Losada at 2'27 > Gruppo Maglia Rosa 5'49'' #giro

The De Gendt move is causing some concern Das he is 5:40 down on GC and he's riding into a very strong position. After catching Zaugg, the group is 7 including Cunego and Amador. However, Christian VandeVelde had dropped back as planned from the early break and came to the front of the favorites group to push the pace. 
With the Stelvio climb looming the gaps are:
giroditalia 7:08am via Web
25 km to go: on the front Cunego, De Gendt, Zaugg, Amador, Kangert, Izaguirre with 3'33'' #giro

Eurosport tells us that "if you have not made a cup of tea, it is too late. There is no tea time now." Otherwise put, drama expected ahead. With about 15 km to go, an incredible effort by Christian Vande Velde (VdV) has the maglia rosa group down to around a dozen riders and the gap at 3:33.
Very impressive, Vdv.

So the favorites continued on together. Meanwhile, ahead, DeGent lost a new attack. Would he put in enough time to change the podium? In the end, maybe.
De Gendt pushed his lead out to five and a half minutes, nearly his entire deficit to the maglia rosa, before tiring a bit at the end and holding on for a one-minute win over Damiano Cunego and 3.22 over race leader Joaquim Rodriguez and 3.36 over challenger Ryder Hesjedal. Rodriguez did his usual escape in the final km as he gained a mere 14 seconds on Hesjedal and holds a shaky 31" lead heading into the itt tomorrow.
Tomorrow will not be dull.

Stage: De Gendt
Pink: Rodriguez
  1. Rodriguez
  2. Hesjedal, at 0.31
  3. Scarponi, at 1.51
  4. De Gendt, at 2.18
  5. Ivan Basso, Liquigas, at 3.18
  6. Cunego, at 3.43
  7. Uran, at 4.52
  8. Domenico Pozzovivo, Colnago, at 5.47

Wine: Costaripa 'Mazane' Garda Marzemino 2010
From the importer:

Single-vineyard, 100% Marzemino (an ancient native red vine yielding small crops of distinct elegance), now DOC!  Refraining from oak élevage enhances the variety's ripe red fruit flavors, crispness and fragrance.  Intense ruby in color, the bouquet jumps out of the glass, recalling marasca cherries, strawberries and violets, with notes of honey, penny royal and lemon verbena.  On the palate, the soft tannins, pulpy fruit flavors and balance make it easy to understand why Marzemino was such a Mozart favorite (...the "eccellente Marzemino" in Don Giovanni).
GRAPES: 100% Marzemino
Hillside vineyards in the Valtenesi, bordering Lake Garda; glacialed, morainic, clayey/calcareous soil with a predominance of clay, with a near-Mediterranean climate; Guyot training and small crops characteristic of the variety
Grapes are severely selected in the vineyard, + classically vinified in red; exclusively evolves in stainless steel, so as to fully maintain the fragrance, crispness and freshness of its aromas + flavors, reminiscent of ripe red fruit;
Intense ruby red in color, with characteristically fragrant aromas of ripe fruit (marasca cherries, strawberries) and violets; ample, very appealing; excellent balance & seductive roundness on the palate
In youth (within the first year from harvest), the wine's silky tannins and lively fragrance make it an extraordinary match with fish when served rather cool (13-16° C, i.e. 55.4-60.8° F)

I say:  A grape I don't really know at all. Like the pelaverga from a few days back, a very easy drinking red. Ripe fruit and violets indeed, along with a very welcome acidity.

1 comment:

  1. Love these posts and any excuse to talk about Marzemino... :)