Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wines of the Giro: Stage 4 Verona Time Trial

And we have the Team Time Trial! The TTT seems to be one of those love it or hate it parts of a race. Either one delights in the beauty and teamwork or grows frustrated on how it can change the race for contenders on weaker teams.

Much like the individual time trial, in the TTT cyclists race against the clock, but this time as a team.Teams start at equal intervals, several minutes apart. Start times are based on race standings, with the highest ranked teams starting later. Thus, BMC, with race leader Taylor Phinney, was the last up today. Unlike individual time trials where riders are not permitted to draft behind each other, in TTTs, riders in each team employ this as their main tactic, each member taking a turn at the front while team-mates ride in single file behind. After each has their turn, the riders will swing over, allowing the next rider to take the lead, while the leader goes to the back of the team.

Today in Verona the route was 32.2 kilometers, mainly flat with a hill near mid course.The favorites going in were Garmin, Greenedge, Sky, BMC and in some places, Liquigas. Given the start times, that meant that most of the favorites would be out on the course late, with Sky,  Radioshack - Nissan, Orica - Greenedge, Garmin - Barracuda, and BMC the last teams to ride. In the end Garmin clocked 37 minutes, 4 seconds with Katusha second and 5 seconds behind, and Astana and Saxo Bank next, both 22 seconds back.

Stage win: Garmin Barracuda
Pink: Ramunas Navardauskas

Wine: Venturini Massimino Valpolicella Classico 2010 $15.00

Azienda Agricola Venturini is located in San Floriano in the district of San Pietro in Cariano. It was established in 1963 continuing on the experience and love for the land that goes back for least three generations. The estate, located on the hilly area of the Valpolicella Classico,  extends for 22 acres all planted to vineyards at an elevation of 800 feet above sea level. The vineyards enjoy a southwestern exposure and are planted on terraces held up by stonewalls called “marogne”. The vine training system is typical of the area: “simple” and “double” pergolas.
The winery is run by the Venturini family, using only estate grown grapes: 70% Corvina Veronese, 20% Rondinella, 10% Molinara, they make certified “Denominazione di Origine Controllata” wines: Amarone, Recioto, Valpolicella Classico and Classico Superiore.

Wine Enthusiast: This dark ruby Valpolicella Classico delivers soft tones of mocha coffee and java cream over a tight base of bright berry fruit. Sour cherry and bitter white almond bring up the rear and contrast the wine’s softness with crisp freshness.

I say: First sip showed the mocha above but not a lot else. After some swirling, the fruit became more pronounced, but on its own, I was not a huge fan. Paired with a friend's recipe for "Magnificent" meatballs, however, it was much improved. 

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