Saturday, May 18, 2013

Wines of the Giro Stage 14: Brigatti Vespolina & Santambrogio

From the Garibaldi:
Very hard uphill finish after a short stage (168 km). Flat approach as far as Pinerolo (intermediate sprint). Long and ‘pedalable’ climb to the GPM at Sestrière. Fast descent as far as Oulx before a false flat leading to Bardonecchia (intermediate sprint) and then the final climb as far as the Jafferau.

Final 7 km climbing steeply at gradients of 9-10%, reaching 14% in the first part. Narrow road at Maillaures, on the steepest section at about 6 km from the finish line. Finishing straight 50 m long. Road width 6 m, dirt.

Up we go. Both today's and tomorrow's have routes have changed due to snow , cold, and avalanche risks. Our new stage profile is:

The forecast is for rain/snow all day, and a few degrees above freezing at the top.  A few riders chose to head home early rather than face the remaining week: Bobridge, Steegmans, Bennati, and Kroon.

taylorphinney 3:11am via Twitter for iPhone
Must thank @rcssport for having the riders' backs and altering today's route. Finish in Bardonecchia is the same but no Sestriere. #giro

And from the Giro head: 

micacquarone 2:38am via Twitter for BlackBerry®
@Il_Lombardia rain. @TirrenAdriatico rain. @Milano_Sanremo snow. @giroditalia rain+snow. Mr. Weather, Italian races are not tough enough?

Temperature 5 degrees in Bardonecchia...and raining. #giro

Our break of the day is Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox), Luca Paolini (Katusha), Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) and Daniele Pietropolli (Lampre-Merida). With about 100 kilometers remaining, they had eight minutes over the main field. Behind, there was a crash in the peloton involving Vanotti, Battaglin and Chalapud. An ambulance was necessary and Vanotti and Battaglin retired from the race. 
And then came this tweet:
renovandael 6:04am via TweetDeck
Euro Links, which is responsable for TV feed, just issued a statement: there might not be any TV images of today's stage at all. #pity

No live images and lots of highlights on Eurosport. Like a Giro retrospective without the last week. Time for some more Geoguessr.

jasenthorpe 6:33am via Twitter for iPhone

Update: since last time we had Giro live coverage, the grass has grown .0125", and paint has dried.

Reports were that inside the final 75km, the gap was up to 9'15. Also, David Millar abandoned.  
Grim #Giro conditions as the road begins to ramp up now on the approach to Bardonecchia. 50km to go. Gap of 9' 15" to the break

Looking ahead to tomorrow:
AFP reporting that French officials have confirmed tomorrow's stage will finish at Verneys, just 3km after Valloire, at base of Galibier

Citing French sources, AFP also reports Mont Cenis will be removed; stage will start on French side of Alps, climbing Telegraphe

Back on the unseen road, 45km to go and the gap was still just over nine minutes.
Worsening conditions at line; riders must ride back down the final climb 8km to team buses; soigneurs will be busy providing warm clothes

"We have had a few riders drop back so I can open @PowerBar for them. Their hands no longer function properly." - Julian Dean #Giro (2/2)

40 km to go: 7'50'' the gap for the break / 40 km al termine: i fuggitivi hanno un vantaggio di 7'50'' #giro

Now a confession: After getting up at 5 am to watch and having no pictures for 2+ hours, I went to the farmers market and drowned my sorrows in this Southern Combo sandwich with egg from my favorite 4505 Meats. Plus apricots and cherries and blueberries and more:
Meanwhile, I followed along on twitter. 
nyvelocity 7:58am via Twitterrific
Is it true tommorrow's Giro stage will be held indoors?

30 km to go: 6'50' for Trentin, Colbrelli, Paolini and Pietropolli / 30 km al termine: 6'50'' per Trentin, Colbrelli, Paolini e Pietropolli

43'' for Paolini and Colbrelli. 1,5 km to go. / 43'' per Paolini e Colbrelli. 1,5 km al termine. #giro

Quit the race today, finally gave into sickness. One question: is the TV coverage always this (uhhh, how do I put this...) suspenseful?

Nibali could have won, but smart to let Santambrogio take the win ... now Astana has friends for rest of Giro
More time for Nibali over his rivals, as he gained 33 seconds over Cadel Evans.

From Cycling News: Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) won the 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia, finishing first atop the Jafferau in horrid weather conditions which forced organisers remove the Col di Sestriere from the stage. He finished just ahead of maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), who didn't contest the win. Carlos Betancur (AG2R) was third, eight seconds later.

1 M. Santambrogio Vini Fantini 4:42:55
2 V. Nibali Astana +0
3 C. Betancur AG2R +8
4 S. Sánchez Euskaltel +26
5 R. Urán Team Sky +30
6 C. Evans BMC Racing +33
7 D. Pozzovivo AG2R +33
8 R. Kišerlovski RadioShack +33
9 S. Colbrelli Bardiani Valvole +55
10 D. Caruso Cannondale +58

1 V. Nibali Astana 57:20:52
2 C. Evans BMC Racing +1:26
3 R. Urán Team Sky +2:46
4 M. Santambrogio Vini Fantini +2:47
5 M. Scarponi Lampre +3:53
6 P. Niemiec Lampre +4:55
7 D. Pozzovivo AG2R +5:02
8 R. Majka Saxo - Tinkoff +5:32
9 C. Betancur AG2R +5:39
10 B. Intxausti Movistar +5:41

Francesco Brigatti 2011 Vespolina 
$27.00 at Biondivino

Winery: Francesco Brigatti

Name: Vespolina
Year: 2011
Region: Piemonte
Sub-Region: Colline Novaresi
Color: Red
Type: Dry
Grapes: Vespolina

From the producer, with help from Google Translate:

Area and production joint Novara Hills - Suno (NO) 
Grapes: 100% Vespolina 
Vineyard Size: 0.5 acres 
Exposure: West 
Altitude: 300 m asl 
Soil: clay 
Training system: Guyot 
Average age of vines: 20 years 
Grape yield by hectare: 50 quintals 
Harvest: First week of October 
Duration of maceration and fermentation 5 - 6 days 
Duration Ageing in wood: 4 - 6 months 
Type of wood used: 15 hl oak barrels since 
Duration Refinement in bottle: 6 months 
Number of bottles produced: 2,000

From wikipedia:

Vespolina is a red Italian wine grape variety that is planted in Piedmont around Gattinara. Ampelographer believe that the grape is most likely indigenous to this area of Piedmont and recent DNA profiling identified a parent-offspring relationship with Nebbiolo. Outside of Piedmont, it is found in the Lombardy region of Oltrepò Pavese where the grape is known as Ughetta. In Gattinara, Vespolina is sometimes blended with Nebbiolo and Bonarda Piemontese. Unlike the white Italian grape Vespaiolo, the root of the name Vespolina does not have a direct connection with vespe or wasp. However the true origins of the name are still unclear.

I say: Bright and fresh.  Vibrant even. Black pepper and cherries. 12% alcohol on the label. Falls into that gulpable category. I make strawberry balsamic black pepper jam. This tastes makes me want to make a cherry version.

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