Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wines of the Giro Stage 17: Lugana I Frati & Visconti

Caravaggio - Vicenza 214 km

From the Garibaldi: Long, flat stage on roads that are almost without exception wide and straight. The usual traffic hazards on this type of road: roundabouts, traffic islands, underpasses. A short section of race route from km 110 to km 130 has many curves. After the Intermediate Sprint at Orgiano, the race route enters the Monti Berici (Berici Hills). Road narrows with sudden turns and short, technical descents. After Nanto, a short climb (GPM) followed by a very fast descent, the last part of which is quite technical. Final 10 km mostly flat.
Final kilometres mostly flat. Inside the final 3 km right turn and railway underpass. At 1.700 m sharp lefthand turn (wide road, slightly uphill). Then, some straight sections leading to the 250 m final straight. Road width 8 m, surfaced with asphalt. In the final metres urban hazards including roundabouts and traffic islands.

Urban hazards?  That does not sound good. But, also, not unusual. Today looks for a sprint day, unless that bump at the end of the stage profile is enough to dislodge them. 
From twitter: 
friebos 3:29am via Twitter for iPhone
Best way to ensure a Mark Cavendish win today: someone tell him he'll never make it over that climb.
I think Cav will be determined to win, not just for the always important stage win, but because if he wants to keep the red (points) jersey through the end of the race, a win here is probably essential. Cav needs more of a points lead going into the high mountains to keep his lead over Cadel Evans, who may take points on the stages there. Last year, Cav lost the jersey by one point. The competition going into today's stage:

2 EVANS Cadel AUS BMC 103
5 NIBALI Vincenzo ITA AST 78
6 URAN URAN Rigoberto COL SKY 76
8 VISCONTI Giovanni ITA MOV 61
9 NIZZOLO Giacomo ITA RLT 61
10 BELKOV Maxim RUS KAT 55

As a Cav fan, I'd like him to hold the jersey. Note that there are also races for Best Young Rider, King of the Mountain and others that create some fun "race within the race" excitement. My Stage Predictor Picks for the day: Cav, Blythe, Sanchez and Nizzolo. 

The morning pre-video breakaway, went out very early at six kilometers:
giroditalia 5:24am via Web
138 km to go. Belkov, Dockx, Durbridge and Rubiano are leading the race with 3'35'' #giro

On the pre-race show I was not delighted to hear Cav say that they would try to control the race today to lead to a sprint, but he was not confident.

From the Podium Cafe live thread, perhaps, as they ride from Caravaggio, this should
be my Wines of the Giro inspiration for the day. 

Back on course they were passing through the feed zone:
110 km left, 2'36'' is now the gap for the breakaway / 110 km all'arrivo, 2'36'' è l'attuale vantaggio per la fuga. #giro

One hundred kilometers to go and the gap was steady at around 2:30. 

Without rain, the pictures of Verona were just gorgeous. With the stage quiet, they had plenty of time to pan around and show us. Plus, a very long conversation about musettes on Eurosport. Musettes are the feed bags handed to riders during stages to allow them to eat without stopping.Team staff stand on the side of the road and essentially hand the bags to the riders as they pass through.
With 90 kilometers to go the gap had grown to 4:40. Perhaps it would remain a quiet stage all the way until the finish? Seventy kilometers to go ad it was around five minutes. Would it be left to Cavendish's Quick-Step to chase or would they get help? 
To continue the points jersey talk from above, Cavendish did come through and take the two remaining points from the peloton at the intermediate sprint point. 
60 km to go: 4'16'' for the break / 60 km al termine: 4'16'' per la fuga quando mancano 60 km al termine #giro

With 50 kilometers to go, the gap had been cut by another minute and was bouncing around three minutes. It looked like the bunch may catch the break before the final hill. Another sprint point and despite a nervous glance back at Cadel Evans, Cav again took the points from the main group. 
35 km to go: gap is now 1'47'' / 35 km al termine: il vantaggio dei fuggitivi è di 1'47'' #giro

Just over 30 kilometers remaining and the gap had dropped to one minute. On tv, there was lots of talk of narrow roads. 25 km to go and that gap was 1:03 for the remaining breakaway riders: Miguel Rubiano (Androni), Gert Dockx (Lotto Beilsol), and Luke Durbridge (OGE). With twenty two kilometers left and the climb starting, Cav was still towards the front of the bunch. Meanwhile, the attacks started from the main group with
Proni and Di Luca. 
Could Cavendish hang onto the group?
Cavendish well-placed in the bunch as Lampre continue to set the tempo
22" to Di Luca, 30" to the maglia rosa group. Cavendish fighting with all he has #Giro #OPQS

 And there went Visconti. 
More vacations? Movistar DS promised he'd pay for vacations to Ibiza if they won another stage, and Intxausti quickly delivered yesterday

15km to go. Cavendish 1.32 down at the top of the climb. Visconti leading by 33 on the Nibali group

Visconti > 33'' > Maglia Rosa group > 1'00'' > Cavendish group. 15 km left #giro

Could they get back on the downhill/flat? Cav had teammates with him working hard to get him there. But the gap was increasing. 
1'40" for the Cavendish group. #Giro #OPQS

5 km to go. Visconti has 22'' on the bunch / 5 km al termine. Visconti ha 22'' sul gruppo. #giro
inrng 8:40am via Web
Visconti is shifting all over the bike to find every last bit of energy and he's maintaining his lead. 3km to go. Chase behind not organised

Visconti looks exhausted, but zips up his jersey and takes the win! Impressive. Not a good day for my stage predictor picks. At the end of the day, only a four point lead for Cav in the red jersey competition.

1  VISCONTI, Giovanni (MOVISTAR TEAM)               5:15:34
2  NAVARDAUSKAS, Ramunas (GARMIN SHARP)                + 19
3  MEZGEC, Luka (ARGOS-SHIMANO)                     
4  POZZATO, Filippo (LAMPRE-MERIDA)                 
5  HONDO, Danilo (RADIOSHACK LEOPARD)               
6  PUCCIO, Salvatore (SKY PROCYCLING)               
8  FELLINE, Fabio (ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI)              
10 EVANS, Cadel (BMC RACING)   

GC (unchanged):
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team

2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:26
3 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:02:46
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:03:53
5 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 0:04:13
6 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:04:57
7 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:05:15
8 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:05:20
9 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:47
10 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:07:34

Willow is not amused
Ca dei Frati “I Frati” Lugana 2010, $21.99 

Another Melissa Sutherland recommendation 

From 67Wine: Considered the best Lugana estate, the Dal Cero family has developed their own special indigenous clone they call Turbiana. The winery is located on the south banks of Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake, whose moderating influence give them a Mediterranean-like climate.

From the importer:
Four generations of the Dal Cero family have worked at Ca dei Frati (the "house of friars") since acquiring the estate in 1940. The winery is located on the south banks of Lake Garda, near the Sirmione peninsula, and beneficiates from the lake's influence. The prevailing wind and mild climate contributes to the production of high quality wines despite the flatness of the land. With 150 hectares of vineyards (all of them hand harvested!), Ca dei Frati is the most important winery in Lugana. The predominantly clay soil provide all of the grapes used in the production. The focus of the estate is the local Trebbiano-based Lugana. At Ca dei Frati, Lugana is interpreted in a variety of styles, some innovative and some traditional, all however, true to the spirit of the region and its proud wine heritage. The wines are elegant in structure with a hint of wildness and are unique for their concentration, complexity, and expressiveness.
Ca dei Frati Website

Lugana I Frati
100% Lugana (Trebbiano).
Sourced from I Frati - Sirmione San Rocco - Pozzolengo Ronchedone - Desenzano del Garda La Tür - Desenzano del Garda Rovizza Alta - Peschiera del Garda, all on chalky clay soils. Fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel. 80% Malolactic fermentation in stainless steel. Aged on the lees for 6 months in tank, followed by 3 months bottle aging prior to release.
This is Ca Dei Frati's flagship wine which has made their reputation, and continues to represent the image of the winery. Its production reflects the value they place on local traditions and practices. It is made from grapes grown on 10 to 35 year old vines, planted on calcareous and clay soil.
The nose is clean, delicate and fragrant, with perfumes of fresh white flowers and nettles, apricots and almonds. An attractive acidity gives it an elegant finish and makes it particularly easy to drink. It is a perfect match for cold starters, vegetable soups and steamed or grilled fish. It ages well and acquires after several years in bottle notes of spices and candied fruit, as well as complexity.

I say: Lemon in color and K insists that is what it smells like. Full and smooth. Apricots, almonds and quince, with enough acid to be balanced. I meant to get back to this wine on day two, but life interfered. Tasted again on day three, it was just lovely: acid, apricots ad flowers.

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