Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wines of the Giro Stage 18: Nibali Gets his TT Win & Nusserhof Lagrein

Mori - Polsa 20.6km ITT

From the Garibaldi:
Time trial almost entirely uphill. Stage start at the Velodromo in Mori, with a half-circuit of the warm-up track before exiting towards the town centre. The climb starts 19 km from the finish line. It can be divided into three parts: first, as far as the Brento, constantly climbing at about 6% (wide road with excellent surface), short and shallow descent to the town centre (split time point). After the descent, a section of false flat for about 3 km before the final 7 km of contant climbing at 7-8%.

Well, that does not look like a lot of fun. After my truly terrible showing in yesterday's Stage Predictor Game and Taylor Phinney's exit from the race, today I am picking: Evans, Nibali, Gesink and Uran. The real question of the day, I suppose, is whether or not anyone can make up any time to Nibali, heading into the weekends (threatened by weather) high mountain stages. Given how well he has been riding, it seems unlikely, but it would make the next few days a bit more fun.  

MarkCavendish 1:47am via Twitter for iPhone
Today's @giroditalia stage description consists of the 2 words most feared by any sprinter: Uphill. Timetrial.

After a few issues trying to get my usual links to work, the sounds of Sean Kelly in the morning. The early results:
opqscyclingteam 5:56am via TweetDeck
#Giro Current Top 3: Cummings (47'8"), @jejeroule44 (+1'15"), Dekker (+1'29") #OPQS

The real excitement would come with the main GC riders at the end of the stage. Of interest early in the stage was the fact that some riders were using road bikes, others time trial bikes. The tt bikes are more aerodynamic, but heavier, so many of the riders were opting for road bikes instead. 
Interesting news of the day: BMC has announced that Cadel Evans will be a protected rider for the Tour de France. What will that mean for the hopes of Tejay van Garderen? Co-leaders? Much more undoubtedly to come.

The news of the day was the failure to start the stage by the Mountain's jersey leader Pirazzi. Just when it seemed he was out of the race, there was this update:
CyclingNews_HD 6:22am via TweetDeck
Pirazzi starts his time trial late, because his team had the time wrong. A lot of work for the KOM leader to do #Giro

Current standings, with a couple of strong riders out on the course:
giroditalia 6:24am via Web
Classifica parziale alle 15.23:
1 CUMMINGS 47'8"
3 BOARO 50"
4 PINEAU 1'15"
5 DEKKER 1'29

Capecchi finishes and was in first.  But he was soon taken off the hot seat by the Dairo Cataldo, the current Italian time trial champion, with a time of 46:10. Nice ride from Tom Danielson, coming in second behind Cataldo. But then came Stef Clement, 5 seconds ahead of Cataldo, replacing him in the stage leader's hot seat. On the course, Samuel Sanchez who I really should have taken in the Stage Predictor Game today, was in first at the time check. Could he hold that time? My fantasy team could use the points.
Ahead, Damiano Caruso took first, at least for a little while, as the GC contenders were heading off the start ramp. Above, it had started to rain. 
And then, cue the Jaws theme music because Nibali, nicknamed the Shark, looked very, very fast. So fast indeed that it appeared he might catch Evans. 
In the end, he took his first stage in pink and Evans almost lost his second-place podium spot. If weather allows true racing this weekend, the race for 2nd and 3rd place could be very interesting.
Meanwhile, I have a nice Sicilian rosato I may put in the fridge to chill.

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:44:29  
2 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:58  
3 Damiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:20  
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:01:21  
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:01:25  
6 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:01:26  
7 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:01:32  
8 Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team 0:01:36  
9 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky Procycling 0:01:41  
10 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:01:52  

1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 73:55:58  
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:04:02  
3 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling 0:04:12  
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:05:14  
5 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida 0:06:09  
6 Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff 0:06:45  
7 Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2R La Mondiale 0:06:47  
8 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia 0:07:30  
9 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:08:36  
10 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:09:34  

Heinrich Mayr Nusserhof Lagrein Riserva 2006 $34.00 from Biondivino

 From the importer Louis/Dressner:

The Nusserhof estate lies directly beside the Isarco River facing south, practically in the center of the city of Bolzano. The Bolzano Valley Basin enjoys a fantastically warm climate and the deep alluvial soils are rich in eroded porphyry. It’s a perfect place to ripen grapes for a northern Italian climate.
Elda & Heinrich Mayr are the latest generation of their family to work this land where the records date back to at least 1788. The Nusserhof gets its name from the walnut trees that once lined the house on the river side. Not so long ago they were torn out to put in a municipal bike path. This is typical of the recent history of Nusserhof. As the years have gone by, the urban environs of the city of Bolzano have more and more encroached the estate. And the city has systematically made it harder and harder for the Mayrs to continue their farming. In fact, it is believed that the only reason the estate is in existence is due to the fact that one of Heinrich’s relatives was an early opponent of the Nazi occupation and died as a Catholic martyr and conscientious objecter in a concentration camp.

On their estate of 2.5 hectares, the Mayrs cultivate Lagrein and Blatterle, two native grapes of the region. There is also a tiny bit of Teroldego. The vines are about 50% in guyot trellising and about 50% in pergola. The viticulture is organic, certified by the German agency Bioland.

Lagrein is a much older native grape, dating back at least 600 years. Heinrich’s Riservas are made with an idea to preserve the full-bodied, freshly aromatic woodland berry character of the grape. He does not use any barriques and the wine is bottled a year or so after the harvest and then aged in bottle before release. DOC law allows for a Riserva to be sold 3 years after the harvest at the earliest. It is a deliciously round wine that is served well by decanting for aeration. From older vintages we have tasted at the Nusserhof cellar, the wines age brilliantly.

I say: Pairing with some sliced roast beef from 4505 Meats. Rich and intense, but not heavy. Pepper, balsamic, dark berries, earth and some herbal notes.

For more about the wines of Alto Adige, I recommend this article from the SF Chronicle by Wolfgang Weber.


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