Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wines of the Giro 2013: The Complete List

A complete list of this year's Giro wines, with a link to each post.  

A note on the wines: Each fall, the Giro route for the ext year is announced. At that point I create a spreadsheet to plot the regions through which each stage travels. Occasionally, I have a wine on hand, but because I do not have a large cellar of Italian wines, most of these wines are purchased specifically for this project. Thus, budget and availability are always an issue. I try to link on each post to the stores where I purchased the wine. This year most came from either 67Wine, with help from Melissa Sutherland or Biondivino, with help from Ceri Smith. 
The wines selected each year are not necessarily the most famous or greatest wines of each region. Instead, they are chosen because they either represent a typical style or grape for the area or, in contrast, are unusual enough to be something that I am just really curious about. Because, after all, I started this project not just to inform myself about Italian wine but to have fun as well. 

On a non-wine related point, I write the cycling sections of each post live, which serves to give an "as-it-happens" feel to the posts, but more importantly, allows me to get on with the rest of my day as soon as each stage ends.  

Up next: Wines of the Tour de France prep and a few canning and cooking posts before the June 29th TdF start date!  

Stage 1: Cantine Federiciane Monteleone Penisola Sorrentina Gragnano 2011 

Stage 2: Casa d’Ambra Ischia Frassitelli 2010

Stage 3: Marisa Cuomo Costa D'amalfi Ravello White 2010

Stage 4: Antica Masseria Venditti Falanghina Sannio Vandari 2010

Stage 5: Gricos Aglianico Del Vulture 2008

Stage 6: Rubino Primitivo Punto Aquila 2010

Stage 7: La Murola Montepulciano 2010

Stage 8: Fattoria Di San Lorenzo Verdicchio Riserva Vigna Delle Oche 2010

Stage 9: Palistorti Valgiano Toscana 2011

Stage 10: Keber Collio 2011

Stage 11: Ronchi di Cialla Rosso 2007

Stage 12: Monteforche Vigneto Carantina 2010

Stage 13: Derthona Massa 2010

Stage 14: Francesco Brigatti Vespolina 2011

Stage 15: Domaine Belluard "Le Feu" 2009

Stage 16: Institut Agricole Regional Aoste Petite Arvine 2010
Stage 17: Ca dei Frati “I Frati” Lugana 2010

Stage 18: Heinrich Mayr Nusserhof Lagrein Riserva 2006

Stage 19: Kuenhof Kaiton Riesling 2011

Stage 20: Andreas Baron Widmann Vernatsch Sudtirol 2010

Stage 21: Calabretta Rosato

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wines of the Giro Stage 21: Red for Cav & Calabretta Rosato for Nibali

Riese Pio X - Brescia 197 km  

From the Garibaldi:
Completely flat stage across the plains to the final circuit, to be ridden 7 times.
Final 4.2 km circuit with no real difficulties, to be ridden 7 times. The circuit unfolds along the city’s avenues and in part in the old town with a number of demanding turns and slgihtly narrower sections. Finish line after a 500 m straight. Road width 8 m, surfaced in asphalt. 

A sprint stage to finish the race. The day will end in a victory for Vincenzo Nibali, who may not have even looked flustered once during the race. He was consistently dominant and a well-deserving winner.
Many expect that it will end in a win for Mark Cavendish and enough points to win the red/ponts jersey for the race. As I mentioned before, he lost the competition last year by a single point. If he wins the jersey today, he will have won the points jersey in all three of the Grand Tours (the Giro, the Tour de France and the Vuelta).
My picks for the day: Cav, Blythe, Nizzolo and Viviani. 

MarkCavendish 12:04am via Twitter for iPhone

Final stage of @giroditalia today! Flat stage in Brescia... That means one thing.... SPRINT!!

And here we go:
150 km to go, Gruppo Compatto. @opqscyclingteam on the front / 150 km al termine. Guida il gruppo la @opqscyclingteam #giro

Nibali, of course, basically needs to finish upright to win today. Cavendish, however, is in a fight for red.
If Cavendish comes at least 2nd at the 2 intermediate sprints, he will overtake Nibali in the points compeition.

Ninety kilometers to go and still little action on the stage, as Cav's OPQS team chased down the one break attempt. 
90 km to go: Gruppo Compatto / 90 km al termine: Gruppo Compatto #giro

Evans was not happy to slip from 2nd to 3rd yesterday, but this is still impressive:
So @CadelOfficial only the 4th rider to podium at every Grand Tour + win rainbow jersey. In company with Gimondi, Hinault + Merckx. #legend

Finally, the first intermediate sprint and Cavendish takes the points, edging closer to red. Sixty-seven kilometers left and an attack! Would OPQS let them go?
Lammertink and Ruijgh attacks the peloton / Lammertink e Ruijgh cercando di staccarsi dal gruppo #giro
.@MarkCavendish is just 3 points behind Nibali for the Maglia Rossa / .@MarkCavendish è a soli 3 punti da Nibali per la Maglia Rossa #giro

Meanwhile, in the teams cars, there was pizza. Clearly, a much more relaxed day, at least at that point. Link to the pizza delivery here:
Bardiani-CSF's @Robbybici is handing out pizzas to others from his team car today pic.twitter.com/FU2pe7Oqtn

#Giro: 52.8km to go, and yes, it's still all together despite that attack earlier.

And then the clouds arrived. Would there be rain for the sprint finish? 

The group goes on with a low pace. Don't they want to come back home to their families? #giro @giroditalia
giroditalia 7:13am via Twitter for Android
38 km to go. @AstanaTeam is leading the bunch. Gruppo Compatto. / 38 km al termine. @AstanaTeam guida il Gruppo Compatto #giro

Next up: they had seven times around the finishing circuit. Garzelli, in his last Giro is given the honor of leading them across the line for the first time. 
mrconde 7:28am via Web
Stefano Garzelli "attacks" and gets to cross the finish line first. This is his last #giro. He won the race in 2000. #cycling

Right away, Omega Pharma (OPQS) was back on front. And then some confusion over exactly when the sprints points would be awarded as two laps in a row Cavendish came to the front to win the sprint. 
Honestly, Cav should just try to win every circuit. Remove all doubt. #giro
Intermediate sprint coming up in Giro. Cavendish was across the line last time but it was the wrong lap of the finishing circuit in Brescia

18.4km to go, waiting to find out the 2nd intermediate sprint classification. Confusion about who picked up the points. #Giro

Go home #giro intermediate sprints, you're drunk.

And on the third time around, he has it! Red for Cav, so long as he finishes the sprint ahead of Nibali. Can he take the stage win after all of the unnecessary effort?:
After leading for three laps due to confusion, Cavendish finally gets the actual intermediate sprint points. #Giro #OPQS

With thirteen kilometers to go, OPQS was still on the front. 
10km to go in Brescia. Congratulations and massive respect to every rider who has made it to the end of this race #Giro

Two laps to go and OPQS was still on the front. Last lap and only two teammates left for Cav with the other remaining sprinters massed behind him. 
CAV with his fifth stage win of the Giro!!! 

Vincenzo Nibali wins Giro d'Italia 2013 / Vincenzo Nibali vince il Giro d'Italia 2013 #giro

GC unchanged. Our winner: Vincenzo Nibali. 

Calabretta Rosato

from Biondivino

Check out this great piece on their Rosso, from Stevie Stacionis on Serious Eats Drinks.  

From the producer:

From 4 generations, the Calabretta family has grown grapes according to the century-old traditions of Etna; minimizing vineyard treatments, (only low quantity of “Copper Sulphate” & “Sulphrum”). We make the “green manure”, the “mulch”, “plowing”, “strictly pruning the vines”. Our head pruned vineyards are delineated by volcanic stone walls that crisscross our landscape. 
The volcanic soil of our area, combined with the dramatic temperature differential between day and night; the high solar daily yields grapes of singular expression when harvested in the middle of October only perfectly ripe. Our wines’ flavors and aromas are a marvelous expression of this special part of Italy. 
Our vineyards have evolved naturally and the vines are intermingled with olive trees and fruit orchards. When in our vineyards, you smell the wild grasses and there is a strong sense of terroir. You can hear the chirping of crickets and the buzzing of bees, wasps & little hornet. Wild rabbits scamper through our vineyards and, occasionally, love to eat the young leaves of the newly planted vines ... but this is nature! 
In our vineyards, depending on the season, you can find fichi d’India (prickly pear), sparagogne (a bitter variety of asparagus) and cavolicelli (an indigenous type of rappini) that we harvest for family and friends. At higher elevations, you can find brooms and mountain flowers. And all the time: we protect and maintain the landscape of our dry-set lava stone walls and clear the ancient pathways to our vineyards.  
The company's tradition is rooted in this land, in fact, already in the early 1900s we were producing and exporting large quantities of wine. At the same time, the town of Passopisciaro arose to accommodate the many peasants who were arriving en masse looking for work. This lead to the construction of large millstones “palmenti” , and the emergence of many small producers. Today, a century later, Etna is renowned for its wines of character and tradition. 
Our enviroment has: • a lot of soils, riches of mineral substance, different lava stones for nature dimension (the Etna “ripiddu”) • black soil (who holds the daily heat for the cold night)• high temperature differencial between night day • hot sun very high luminosity • vineyards altitude from 600 – 1000 m / 650 – 1100 yards • elevate windy to fresh the vines • correct rainfall in some locality
Altitude, wind, microclimate let us use low quantity of “Copper Sulphate” & “Sulphrum”. That’s why we can have a natural organic. This is a privilege of the nature of our zone.

Rosato: rosé wine from young vineyrds in contrada Calderara. Origin from a rigorous “massale” (ancient vinyards) selection of the vines. A big number ungrafted. Ancient traditional fermentation “Pista & Mutta” (to press = pista & to transfer = mutta) without the solid part we have low colour & low tannin. This was the wine of the farmer… he can drink at once ! Fruit, floreal with structure. Dedicated to the ancient ways. 

I say:

Pink wine from Sicily for the Sicilian winner of this year's Giro, Vincenzo Nibali. it is funny, when the Giro route was announced last fall, I was disappointed that they were not going to Sicily, as I wanted to include this wine. Apparently, it was meant to be. 

Dark in color for a rosé, notes of blood orange, berries, herbs and minerals. This is a rosé that makes you stop and think.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Wines of the Giro Stage 20: Andreas Baron Widmann Vernatsch & Nibali

Another day, another altered stage route. The original route went from Silandro/Schlanders to Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The plan was for 210 kilometers in the high mountains. But the weather has interfered yet again. 

The revised stage looks like this:

Essentially, the Passo di Costalunga, Passo di San Pellegrino and Passo Giau were all removed from originally planned route due to heavy snowfall. The change makes a Nibali victory even more certain, but also improves the chances of Mark Cavendish to win the red/points jersey, as Evans could not make points on the canceled stage 19. It also will create some interesting drama today around the closely contested white/young riders jersey. Perhaps we will see from fireworks from either Betancur or Majka today? My picks for the revised stage: Betancur, Evans, Sanchez and Nibali. 

And we have racing: 
giroditalia 4:49am via web
We got 4 riders in the break: Ermerti (AND), Brutt (KAT), Hansen (LTB) and Popovych. 108 km to go. Gap 6'53'' #giro

Nice day so far, but there is cold ahead:
Hard to believe it's warm spring morning at start, and excellent spring skiing conditions at Tre Cime at 2300m #giroextremes

As they neared the feedzone, some chatting in this peloton about the hard chase by Euskaltel. From CyclingNews: "Nibali seemed to have asked Euskaltel why they were chasing. These seems to be some friction in the bunch, perhaps between the two Spanish teams. Paolini is sticking his neck in as well and asking what's going on." Chasing for a Sanchez stage victory perhaps? Seventy-five kilometers to go and the gap was around seven minutes as Euskaltel continued to chase hard. 
Live from the finish. Breathtaking / L'arrivo di oggi. Stupendo. #giro pic.twitter.com/lMusrSKUwz

Sixty kilometers to go and the gap was hovering around six minutes. Green and beautiful for the riders so far, just as Eurosport showed images of snow and fog at the finish. 
By the way, the Giro offers a soundtrack for each stage:
Need a soundtrack for today's stage? Here it is! #giro ♫ Tappa 20: Silandro - Tre Cime di Lavaredo spoti.fi/ZkyaRR #NowPlaying

55 km to go. The break is in Dobbiaco. They have 5'28''. / 55 km al termine. La fuga è a Dobbiaco. Hanno un vantaggio di 5'28'' #giro

Time for the intermediate sprint point and Cavendish came to the front to take two points. Strangely, he was challenged by a Vini Fantini rider. Cavendish clearly did not appreciate the challenge, but took the points anyway.

Peloton soon riding into a wall of snow, falling thick and wet at finish line; road surface is wet, no freezing yet
Nibali looks untouchable, but white jersey, podium, stage-win still up for grabs - should be wild finale with uphill charge thru blizzard

Forty-four kilometers to go, the gap was around 4:45 and Be-in US went live. It turned out, by the way, that the Vini-Fantini rider, Andriato, was in search of points for one of the other Giro classifications, so his challenge was not simply annoying. Polemica halted.
And then it started to look a lot colder. Snow on the side of the road and I imagined some of the riders were thinking of a moto with a tray delivering tea. 
Thirty-two kilometers to go, Cannondale had come to help at the front and the gap was down to around three minutes.
30 km to go: Gap is 3'00'' for Ermeti, Brutt, Hansen and Popovych #giro

Popovych attacking, but Brutt trying to chase him down with 21.9km to go. Betancur off the back being paced back. #Giro

And there was Cav on the front again, looking for points. It seemed like he was there a long time, but made it.
Cav is all, "Can I stop racing now?"

Behind, Betancur continued to try to chase back on after a mechanical. Cannondale was riding very hard at the front.
First rider across #giro finish line needs to dig out parking space, set up lawn chair to save it. #chicagostyle

And then the attacks came from the shrinking peloton. 
It's livening up now at the #Giro. Attacks firing off the front as the road starts to ramp up. Lots of looking around. 19km to go
inrng 7:06am via Web
The last climb of the 2013 Giro starts now as the rain is turning to snow. Betancur is 50 seconds behind
Pavel Brutt is leading now with 2'17''. 19 km to go. / Pavel Brutt guida la corsa con un vantaggio di 2'17'' quando mancano 19 km al termine

Betancur made it back to the peloton. Ahead:
16.5km to go, gap 1'12" from Brutt to Weening #Giro
Brutt > Hansen, Weening 1'06'' > Atapuma 1'30'' > Gruppo Maglia Rosa 1'46 15 km al termine #giro

"a little bit of an 18% section" -- ugh! #Giro

Brutt arrived on the top of Tre Croci 26" before Weening, Pirazzi at 33", maglia rosa group at 48". 13,5 km to go. #giro

23" between Brambilla, Pirazzi,Weening, and Brutt alone ahead. 10.6km to go. #Giro

Cold conditions, snow on the sides of the road. 24" to the Brambilla group, 45" to the maglia rosa group, 9.1km to go. #Giro #OPQS

And then it started snowing on the riders. Eight kilometers remained. 
Atapuma attacks again, Pirazzi just ahead of the peloton now looking back. #Giro

7.4km to go, 42" to a chase group, 1'07" to the maglia rosa group. #Giro

6km to go. Capecchi, Brambilla, Weening lead by over a minute. Capecchi looks the strongest. Is Nibali group slowing? Kiserlovski attacks

Up they went and then:
Vincenzo Nibali attacks / Attacco di Nibali

Attack he did, rapidly dropping everyone else and fighting both the weather conditions and the crazy roadside fans to solo away for a dramatic stage victory. Behind, Evans lost time to Uran and dropped from 2nd to 3rd on the GC. Betancur, despite bike problems on the day, regained the white jersey.


1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 5:27:41  
2 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia 0:00:17  
3 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:00:19  
4 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:21  
5 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:44  
6 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli 0:00:48  
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:54  
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:58  
9 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia 0:01:00  
10 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:01:04  

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 79:23:19  
2 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:04:43  
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:05:52  
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:06:48  
5 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale 0:07:28  
6 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 0:07:43  
7 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:08:09  
8 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:10:26  
9 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:10:32  
10 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:10:59  

Cat, wine, kohlrabi
2010 Andreas Baron Widmann Vernatsch Sudtirol 
from Biondivino (Not on their site but another wine from the producer is)

From the producer with help from google translate: 

The farm Baron Widmann family-run expected to winemaking since 1824. All wines come from vineyards owned by the family, which are located on the slopes of Cortaccia between 220m and 600m.

The different varieties of grapes in the company are located in different areas:
Milla (220m): Chardonnay, Moscato Giallo, Lagrein
Auhof and Feld (230-320m): Slave, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon
Rain, Drummen, Nokerisch (350m): Slave, Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer
Sulzhof (fraction of Penone, 600m): Sauvignon, Pinot Blanc

The farm with the wine cellar is located in the village of Cortaccia. Next to the wine-making company dedicated to the production of wine vinegar and fruit.

From the importer (Oliver McCrum):

"If we had to choose the five best grape-growers in Italy, the name of Andreas Widmann would be amongst the first to come to mind." ~Gambero Rosso
Andreas Widmann is a producer of very small quantities of excellent wine (in my opinion some of the best made in the Alto Adige). His beautiful old house and cellar are in the old part of the village of Cortaccia; the cellar is under the house, and the scale of it is more like home winemaking than commercial production. His family has made wine here since 1824. The imacculately tended vineyards are just south of the village on steep slopes at altitudes between 250 and 600 meters (almost 2000 feet) above sea level. Andreas follows every aspect of the grapegrowing and winemaking himself, a Baron with dirt under his fingernails. The wines are impeccably made and full of character, an ideal combination. The only problem here, as with many of the best small growers from the south Tirol, is that there is very little wine available, as the local market is so strong. Nonetheless I am delighted to be able to offer these gems.

Vernatsch is the local name for the Trollinger (or Schiava) variety, which produces pale red, delicious and very drinkable table wines (sort of like a cross between Beaujolais and Bourgeuil and as mouthwatering and savory as that description suggests). Andreas's version is top-notch, with hints of spices and herbs. It is an excellent complement to most pork dishes and great with salumi (or the local Speck ham, which I am starting to see over here). This is a wine to be drunk and not discussed.

I say: I like this wine a lot. The importer calls it (above) a wine to be drunk and not discussed, which made me expect what I and many others call "gulpable." It is indeed. Light garnet in color. Juicy and fresh. Another Giro wine that I would like to drink a lot more of. Wild strawberry (like the Alpine ones growing in our yard) and mild herbs. On day two, it is still making me very happy and K comments that "she can smell the berries now." 

Speaking of K, check out this article on her recent baking project from SFist: http://sfist.com/2013/05/24/young_girl_creates_boo_berry-4505_m.php