Monday, May 6, 2013

Wines of the Giro Stage 3: Ravello Bianco and Paolini
Stage 3: Sorrento - Marina di Ascea 222 km

From the official roadbook (Called the Garibaldi): "Stage divided into three parts. The first on the Amalfi  peninsula with a circuit to be covered twice before passing San Pietro and following the coast to Salerno. From Salerno (intermediate sprint), largely straight and flat roads to Agropoli (intermediate sprint). The final part in Cilento has many curves. It rises and falls continuously. There are two GPMs with technical descents, the second of which levels out 1500 m from the finish line. 
The final kilometres are descending with demanding sections on well-surfaced roads of medium width. The final 1.500 m are flat with a finishing straight 400 m long and 6 m wide, surfaced with asphalt." 

Perhaps a bit too rolling for the sprinters? Perhaps the first real breakaway of the race? Time to find out.

Sure enough, before I even had live video a break formed:
giroditalia 4:57am via web
Taborre, Boaro, Wauters, Pantano, Bellemakers, J. Rodriguez, De Backer > 6'30'' > Peloton. 140 km left #Giro

And so they continued, with the break maintaining a good gap (wth video, thanks to a livestream of Eurosport).
With about 73 kilometers remaining, Bein sport started the coverage and there are bikes on my tv! I could see, without pop-up ads, the gap continuing to drop as the lead riders challenged each other for the King of the Mountain points at the top of the climb. Behind, Sky came to the front of the peloton, perhaps to defend the pink jersey? 
Further behind, the first grupetto of the race formed with Cavendish and several other sprinters.
opqscyclingteam 6:48am via TweetDeck
A lot of riders off the back. Cavendish is one, but has two #OPQS teammates with him in a group of several sprinters. #Giro
A grupetto, by the way, is a group of riders, usually sprinters, that forms on mountain stages when non-climbers fall off the back of peloton during the climb.  Their primary concern is arriving at the finish before the day's elimination time to ensure their survival in a multi-stage race. I like to imagine them whistling and singing, but the reality is that it can be a rather desperate and precise race to get in before the time cut. 

Up front, the gap was down to just a little bit over 4 minutes with 56km remaining and Taborre set out on his own, gaining about 20 seconds over his compatriots in the break Behind, the slow pace has allowed the gruppeto to return to the main peloton. 
With 40 km to go, the gap from Taborre to the peloton was 3:40 min. Could he hold on? I doubt it, but it happens sometimes. 

And then, a race broke out, with Garmin and Astana leading attacks. 
From twitter:
Taborre is caught. Hesjedal in front now. 25 km to go. Astana leading the chase... Except Nibali to attack on the final descent. #giro

But Hesjedal was soon caught.
The peloton is again packed, 23 km left. / Gruppo di nuovo compatto, 23 km all'arrivo. #giro 
With the race leader, Salvatore Puccio, dropped, there would be a new race leader tonight. Continuing on there was a group of approximately 10 riders in the front, including all of the big favorites. Out of that group, Paolini attacked, powering away and looking like he would stay away. A couple of crashes behind may have helped his cause and indeed, away he stayed, winning the stage and the pink jersey.

1) Luca Paolini 2) Cadel Evans 3) Ryder Hesjedal. Luca Paolini is the new Maglia Rosa! / Luca Paolini è la nuova Maglia Rosa! #giro

Stage: Luca Paolini
1 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha 9:04:32
2 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:17
3 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
4 Benat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:26
5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:31
6 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team
7 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:34
8 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha 0:00:36
9 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha
10 Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling 0:00:37

If I jump now, I will get in the picture.
Marisa Cuomo Costa D'amalfi Ravello White 2010, $21.99 from 67Wine
Producer website:
From the Importer:
Harvesting by hand usually starts at the beginning of October. The grapes are gently pressed and a cold maceration is used to obtain the finest fragrance of the fruit. Temperature controlled fermentation takes place in stainless steel for about 20-30 days. Then the wine is decanted into other stainless steel tanks for an additional 2-3 months before bottling.
The Producer: Imagine yourself transported into a time where the Hollywood movies cast Anna Magnani and Roberto Rossellini… now picture them in Furore’s pristine setting on the Amalfi coast. This is a magnificent panorama, with its vineyards perfectly arranged on the stone-walled terraces along the cliffs of Furore, at altitudes between 980 to 1300 feet above sea level. A sunny southern exposure encourages production of high quality grapes in this unique combination of ocean currents, mountains, and high pressure systems, creating a special microclimate responsible for flavorful, complex, and well-balanced wines. A fair share of the credit for developing and spreading the vineyard techniques goes to Marisa Cuomo, wife of Andrea Feraioli (who inherited the estate from his grand-father Raffaele Ferraioli), creating a modern winery with great growth potential following the same style of its enological ancestors. Its volcanic and alluvial soil is the reason for the relatively low yield but produces Campania's finest wines. Recently Marisa and Andrea have worked at replanting the vines and reorganizing the winery to maintain the high quality needed in today's market. In 1995, after the D.O.C. appellation was accepted for the Amalfi coast, this winery received great honors for their Furore and Ravello wines.

Tasting Notes: Ravello Bianco is a straw yellow color with greenish hues. Refreshing, with complex floral, citrus, pear and apple flavors with an emerging polished finish. This elegant wine pairs well with light sauce risottos, fish soups, homemade pastas with delicate sauces, grilled vegetables, seafood platters and fresh cheeses.

The Grapes: 60% Falanghina, 40% Biancolella
Areas and joint production: Ravello and Scala
Exposure and altitude: South / South-West, 300-400 m / slm
Soil: Limestone-dolomite rocks

My thoughts: Another recommendation from Melissa Sutherland. Floral, apples and some honey. Fuller and richer than I expected.

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