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

#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.


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