Friday, May 11, 2012

Wines of the Giro: Stage 6 Urbino – Porto Sant’Elpidio
Stage 6 Urbino – Porto Sant’Elpidio (210 km)
And we have a hill. Or, according to the Giro home page, a medium mountain. Really, kind of a roller coaster stage today as the riders head southeast through the Macerata and Fermano Apennine valleys with short, sharp ascents followed by technical descents.

Cycling Weekly says that:  Having been 'eased' into the 2012 Giro with a couple of time trials and a handful of flat stages, the race hits its first serious day in the hills.
Four categorised climbs - three third cat and one second cat - punctuate the central section of the day. The highest peak of Passo della Cappella is on unmade roads, favouring the Classics hardmen.
The profile has 'escape group' written all over it, and we could see the first victory from a non-sprinter.

Off they went with the inevitable break gaining time ahead of the peloton. Then came news of the first withdrawals from the race: Former world champion Thor Hushovd and Romain Feillu abandoned, while Tyler Farrar and Pablo Lastras crashed out of the race. Also our first large grupetto of the race, the group of sprinters that ride together in hopes of coming in under the time limit. 
In the end Colombian rider Miguel Rubiano won the stage after a solo attack from the break with around 45km to go. He crossed the line in a time of 5:38:30, earning himself the 20-second time bonus on offer. Adriano Malori  takes over the pink jersey after finishing second in the stage, just edging out Michal Golas for a 12-second bonus.

The stage:Miguel Angel Rubiano Chave
Maglia Rosa:Adriano Malori
  • Malori 
  • Golas, at 0.15 
  • Ryder Hesjedal, Garmin-Barracuda, at 0.17 
  • Rubiano Chavez, at 0.30 
  • Christian VandeVelda, Garmin, at 0.32

The Wine: Bianchello Morelli 2010 $12.99 from 67Wine

From the importer: Many believe that Rome was saved in 207 BC when the invading Carthaginians drank too much Bianchello and were turned back at banks of the Metauro River.
Whatever the case, Bianchello has been a favorite of Le Marche for centuries and was given immediate DOC status in 1969. Morelli’s bianchello is grown on a mere 1.3ha of terraced vineyards. The fruit ferments at low temperature for 15-20 days without the skins, and then matures over four months in stainless steel. This careful production creates refreshing white wine with weight and a wholly unique flavor profile.
100% Bianchello 100% Stainless Steel Soil

From Melissa at 67Wine (who suggested this bottle and many of my other Giro wines):  Hands down! This wine will be on your 2012 greatest whites hit list. And you'll be supporting biodiversity as well since Bianchello, the grape hailing from the Le Marche DOC of Bianchello del Metauro, is fabled to have been cultivated and vinified by the Romans. Some estimate the its recorded history can be dated back to 500 BCE. Known synonymously as Biancame, Morelli's wine has solid structure, showing zingy green apple and a solid snap of acidity. It's decidedly pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable on its own or with the catch of the day. Pair with some salty, semi-firm sheep's milk cheese as well.

I say: Refreshing in a very good way. Slightly herbal with lots of fruit and acidity. A reminder that, as I say every year during the wines of the Giro, that I should drink more Italian whites.  No fish here tonight, but pairing beautifully with my current 4505 Meats obsession: the half River Dog Farms chicken, marinated and ready to roast at home.

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