Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wines of the Giro Stage 10: Keber Collio & Uran


Cordenons - Altepiano del Montasio 167km

Rest Day number one is done and there are fireworks ahead today. Missing the Giro, I watched the incredibly warm Tour of California. I'm looking forward to seeing a stage or two of that race live this weekend. Back in Italy, we will have our first mountain top finish of the race.
The stage profile

From the Garibaldi: First uphill finish. Quite a short stage (167 km) with two Category 1 climbs. First 100 km on a shallow but constant climb as far as Paularo (intermediate sprint). Climb to Passo Cason di Lanza with gradients up to 15%. A short, technical descent interrupts up the climb. Long descent (technical on narrow roads for the first part) as far as Pontebba, then the descent continues, less markedly, on a wide road as far as Chiusaforte. Final climb of about 22 km with the final 4 km at very high gradients.
Final 11 km of steep climbing. After the bridge over the Torrente raccolana, gradients touch 14%. Between - 8 km and Sella Nevea (intermediate sprint) there is a series of hairpin bends, where the right-hand hairpins are in tunnels (with good visibility). After Sella Nevea the road narrows and for nearly 2 km gradients exceed 12%, with a maximum of 20%. The final 2 km are uphill, although less steep. Finish line after a 60 m straight road width 4 m, surfaced with asphalt.

A look at what is ahead:
To start the day, a rather large break: Tjallingii, Dekker, Rodriguez, Modolo, Viviani, Brutt, Dehaes, Pauwels, Machado, Popovych, Bennati, Ligthart, Millar and Gatto. With a few sprinters in that group, it appears they were in a hurry:
giroditalia 5:05am via web
The average speed for the first hour of racing is 49.5 km/h / La velocità media della prima ora di corsa è 49.5 km/h #giro

 With about 75 km to go, that break had around a seven minute lead. Of course, things were also about to head uphill. 

Note to self: visit Friuli. Just gorgeous scenery along the road today. 
As the peloton started to climb, Astana was at the front, quickly followed by Sky. With 60km to go, the gap was down to 6:31.
The first drama of the day came before Be-in US went live and during a commercial break on Eurosport: Nibali dropped his chain. He did however, make it back to the peloton. 
Gap drops to 4'33" as the front group has shattered. Jackson Rodriguez has attacked. Reaching the top of Passo Cason di Lanza. #Giro

And there went Pellizotti attacking, as Ryder Hesjedal was dropped from the shrinking favorite's group:
mrconde 6:31am via Web
Pellizotti knows this climb like nobody else the #giro. Needs a gap to the favorites before the final climb. Big day for him & Androni today

Snow along the road! A clear sign of the climbing the rides faced today. 
From twitter:
The pedals on the bike go round and round. #girosongs

In the peloton, the Sky train continued on with three men left with Wiggins while Nibali and Evans rode almost side by side. Gesink was also still here.

At the top of the climb, Jackson Rodriguez had about four minutes over the peloton, with the remains of the break and Pellizotti in between. Getting ready for the descent, Astana came to the front, perhaps to once again distance Wiggins, who has been very hesitant descending thus far in the race. 
Pellizotti crashed, but was up in a moment. 35.4km to go. Rodriguez ahead. #Giro
2'41" to Pellizotti, 3'44" to the maglia rosa group

In that group, Betancur had been asking for help from his team car for a very long time. Kind of reminded me of hailing a taxi on a rainy day.
Betancur has lactic acid in his arm from holding it up so much over the last 30k. #Giro

28.8km to go, gap at 4'12". Viviani and Decker with Pellizotti. #Giro 

In the peloton, the pace slowed, as riders ate in preparation for the final climb. Ahead, the lone leader Jackson Rodriguez had to stop for a bike change. As they continued to to struggle with his bike, Pauwels caught up and passed him.
Pellizotti caught by the peloton. 21.6km to go. Gap 2'19". Altopiano del Montasio averages 7.4%, with a max ramp of 20%. #Giro

Just walked down the last 5km of today's route. Steep isn't the word. Not sure what is though. Brutal should do it.

Speaking of the finish:
With 15km to go, Vini Fantani was at the front of the peloton. Sky had four men, Astana four also.  Gesink, Evans, and Scarponi were there as well.  Word from behind was that Ryder Hesjedal was over 6 minutes behind. 
Coming out of a runnel, we see an attack:
Now in a tactical move @UranRigoberto heads up the road. Now it is down to other teams to pull on the front. #Giro

17 seconds gap for Uran already. Still 7 km to go. 20% part up in 3 km.. #giro

Clearly, Uran was aware that he was one of my picks in the Podium Cafe Stage Predictor game. My picks, by the way, in no particular order were: Nibali, Scarponi, Evans, Uran. As Uran was ninth on GC starting the day, it seemed like Astana and Nibali would need to chase. But Uran continued to drive ahead, winning the stage alone. Behind, Evans and Nibali gained additional time over Wiggins, who fiinshed 38 seconds down to Nibali.
Despite numerous mechanical issues, it was another good day for Nibali. Cadel Evans was also excellent.

Keber Collio 2011 (Dig $26: https://www.facebook.com/pages/DIGWineSF/108889189158331)

From the importer:
Edi Keber, viticulturalist of Zegla in the area of Collio, a few meters from Brda, Slovenia, is one of the mavericks of this territory.  The  excellent quality of his wines runs parallel with the volcanic character of this farmer, dedicated to forging new ideas for the development and valorisation of his land.  In the vineyard, Keber has continued the work of his parents and his uncles, with the same passion, fervor and love for the simple life in close harmony with nature. The farm covers ten hectares of vineyards, all in Zegla, that thrive on the cold north bora winds and the breeze from the Adriatic Sea, all the while benefitting from ideal southern exposure.
The year 2008 marked a momentous milestone for Keber as the azienda decided to commit to the production of a single white grape wine, the Collio, a blend of three varieties: Friulano for structure, Malvasia Istriana for its aromatic qualities, and Ribolla Gialla for acidity. The varietals express themselves to their greatest potential in this area cormonese, cultivated on “Ponka”, a soil composed of marl and sandstone that naturally stresses the vines, lending to the production of a wine with remarkable weight, body and a distinctive minerality typical of the region.
Today the wines of the Keber estate, run by Edi with the help of his son Kristian, are intense, long-lived, and synonymous with the great terroir that is Collio.

WINEMAKER:   Edi & Kristian Keber
 GRAPE VARIETAL:  Friulano 70%, Malvasia Istriana 15%,  Ribolla Gialla 15%
VINIFICATION:   Whole cluster soft-pressed to preserve oxidation during crushing.  Fermented and matured on the yeasts for 6 months in cement vats.  20% of Fruilano aged in 10-year old tonneaux of 4 hl for 6 months.
TASTING NOTES:   Fresh, slightly herbal aromas backed with citrus notes, lead to a crisp aromatic wine with notes of straw and grass. Refreshing and beautifully structured white wine.  

I say: This is a gorgeous wine. Greenish straw in color. Some lemon with lots of herbs and minerals. Very aromatic and full without being heavy. Wine of the Giro so far? Maybe.

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