Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wines of the Giro Stage 11: Another for Australia & Donati Camillo Malvasia dell'Emilia

Where are we: Leaving Emilia Romagna and heading to Liguria, 249 kilometers from Collecchio to Savona. 
Google tells me that Liguria is known as the "Italian Riviera."
The region of Liguria is also known as the Italian Riviera - See more at:
The region of Liguria is also known as the Italian Riviera - See more at:
The region of Liguria is also known as the Italian Riviera - See more at:
The region of Liguria is also known as the Italian Riviera - See more at:
The region of Liguria is also known as the Italian Riviera - See more at:
The region of Liguria is also known as the Italian Riviera - See more at:
The folks at La Gazetta tell me that the foods of Savona include: Turtellassu (flatbread of wheat flour), cubed panissa (pancake of chickpea flour, without olive oil) seasoned with oil and lemon or onion; striped and fried panissa; capponada della Riviera di Ponente (seafood salad with baby octopus, prawns, sole and salted anchovies); pansotti (ravioli) with walnut sauce, maccheroni with tripe (soup); torta pasqualina (quiche with an artichoke, ricotta cheese, eggs and Parmigiano filling); rabbit with olives; myrtle-leaved orange (candied or in alcohol).
The route: This could be a very fun day. More medium mountains., but also a downhill finish that could prove quite fun to watch. Read the rather excellent PodiumCafe preview here.

The race: Not starting today our former race leader, Michael Matthews. Early on Fabian Wegmann abandoned after a crash, apparently he suffered a complete hamstring tear. Not that long after another abandonment: Luke Durbridge. Our break of the day: Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani), Moreno Moser (Cannondale), Francis Mourey (FDJ), Enrico Barbin (Lampre), Yonathan Monsalve (Nero Sottoli), Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar), Romain Sicard (Europcar), Björn Thurau (Europcar), Georg Preidler (Giant-Shimano), Daniel Moreno (Katusha), Eduard Vorganov (Katusha), Phililp Deignan (Sky), Nicolas Roche (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Ivan Rovny (Tinkoff-Saxo).
Having missed the break, Androni was pushing the pace at the front of the peloton.


Lots of battered riders today. With 74 kilometers to go, there was another crash. Given the number of crashes today, you would think it was pouring rain.  Ahead, Cadel Evans clearly wanted to slow the race down.

The Androni team declined his request and continued to push the pace. With 65 kilometers to go, the gap to the break was at 2:40. 

50 kilometers to go and the gap was just over two minutes. A report from Jens in the live thread at Podium Cafe: "Danish TV teling story of Avila missing the timecut the other day. He demanded a bidon from the team car in the final kms. They refused as it would give them a fine. He got off his bike in protest and they still refused. When he eventually finished he was HD." 
Where they are heading:

On they go, heading towards the Naso di Gatto or cat's nose. Appropriately:

Forty kilometers to go and the gap was around 1:15. Now at the front of the peloton, Quick Step, Belkin, BMC and more. An attack from Arredondo, as he is not a GC threat, the group let him go. He quickly made it up to the remnants of the break: Bongiorno, Roche, Preidler, and Moreno. He caught and passed them, eventually taking maximum points at the king of the mountain point.

Twenty four kilometers to go and the reduced peloton, of about forty, was all together again. There would certainly be more attacks to come. And there went Mick Rogers, recently cleared to race again after his positive test for Clenbuterol. He had a twenty six second gap with 17 kilometers to go.

Ten kilometers to go and he had about 37 seconds. Five kilometers to go and he had 34 seconds, though it looked like the group behind was starting to speed up. Three kilometers and it was 23 seconds. One kilometer and 21 seconds. Another winning day for Australia as he holds on to take the stage.
Tomorrow, they time trial!

Stage: Michael Rogers
1 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 48:39:04  
2 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:57  
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:10  
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:20  
5 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:01:31  
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:39  
7 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:44  
8 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:45  
9 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:49  
10 Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale 0:02:01  
The wine: Donati Camillo Malvasia dell'Emilia
From the importerThe Donati estate is a family estate started in 1930 which is now run by the third generation of Donati -- Camillo, his wife and their children. They cultivate 11 ha of vines (7 of which they own as Tenuta S. Andrea and 4 which are leased at Tenuta Bottazza) using organic and biodynamic practices. They are about 20 km away from Parma in the hillside at an altitude of around 250 m with an eastern exposition.
The Malvasia Candia is historically from Crete, arriving in this part of Italy many centuries ago, and it is also one of the oldest known grapes. Up until 30-50 years ago it was only vinified in sweet and demi-sec style, but Donati now makes both a dry and sweet Malvasia.

All the grapes, including the white, are fermented like red wines (with skin contact), without temperature control, and use no other controls or enhancers at fermentation, no fining, no acidification or de-acidification, no selected yeasts, etc... They make Malvasia Dolce (sweet) from a stopped fermentation by filtration through a sack filter and it remains at about 4-6% alcohol with a bit of natural sweetness balanced by acidity. The other wines are fermented dry, including the Lambrusco.

The carbonation of these frizzante wines comes from the traditional method of refermentation in bottle, a method that does not require preservatives and which makes this wine, unlike those produced in charmat method, age better. The wines are not filtered and are topped with a crown cap (a traditional closure for some decades in this region). There may be resulting sediment and the bottles should be poured somewhat carefully without a lot of intense movement.

These are very delicate and natural wines that have immense glugability and unique character. They are meant to be drunk simply as you would a refreshing beer or cider at cold temperature (even the red) with simple foods. They go particularly well with cold cuts, prosciutto and dry sausages and gnocco – fried squares of dough – that are traditional in Parma.

I say: Bubbly and orange and cloudy in the glass. Wheaty and savory. Dry and weird and a lot of fun, in the vein of a cider or beer. It even has a crown cap!

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