Friday, May 23, 2014

Wines of the Giro Stage 13: Hail, Canola and Castello di Neive Barbaresco

Where are we: Piedmont, heading157 kilometers from Fossano to Rivarolo Canavese.
Fossano is renowned for beef breeding. It is also a major manufacturing center, especially in the confectionery industry. More here on a visit to the area  from the Washington Post.
Rivarolo Canavese, having its debut as a Giro stage city has an economy that relies on cattle farming, handicraft and an evolving hi-tech industry.
Fossano: Vitello tonnato, Alba-style raw beef, traditional lardo from the Cuneo area, aioli (garlic-based condiment); gnocchi alla bava (potato dumplings with a fresh cheese, cream and truffle sauce), tajarin (taglierini) with butter and Alba white truffles or ragu, bollito misto, cotechino with lentils or mashed potatoes, Sambucana lamb, cunij al zenèiver (rabbit with juniper berries); traditional cheeses and desserts (bra, castelmagno, murazzano, raschera/baci di dama, nougat)

Rivarolo Canvese:  Traditional Piedmont fritto misto, bagna càuda (olive oil, anchovies and garlic-based condiment), Russian salad, raw meat; ravioli alla Erbaluce (with a rabbit filling), Canavese-style pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans), Canavese-style stuffed onions, finanziera del re (chicken giblets stew)

The route: Flat. Well, they had to give something to the sprinters before we head to the high mountains. The question of the day: Can anyone beat Bouhanni?

The race: Our break of the day: Jackson Rodriguez (Androni), Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Marco Canola (Bardiani CSF), Jeffry Johan Romero (Colombia), Gert Dockx (Lotto-Belisol), and Angelo Tulik (Europcar). With 100 kilometers to go, the gap to the peoloton was 2:27. Although the riders were in the sunshine, there was word of possible rain at the finish. 

On they go. Time for rain gear. And, ouch:

Another rain jacket incident, Dekker did not crash, but had to stop and do repairs. At around the 45 kilometers to go point, the gap was around 3:20. Still ahead, before the finish, was an intermediate (points) sprint. Also ahead: hail!

Wow. It looked like snow, but apparently was simply piles of hail. 
Narrow roads towards the finish look to be dry, but things could get very tricky at high speed. Fifteen kilometers to go and there was a split in the breakaway and it suddenly looked like they could make it, as the peloton was having trouble mounting a true chase. Sometimes the chase does not materialize as we expect it to and today was one of those days and on one of the last chance stages for the sprinters. Our surprise winner: Marco Canola.

Stage: Marco Canola

1 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team    
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:37  
3 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:52  
4 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:32  
5 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:02:50  
6 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:29  
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:37  
8 Wout Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:04:06  
9 Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team 0:04:20  
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:04:41  

Wine: Castello di Neive Barbaresco 2010
A sample provided by Winebow. SRP $34.99

From the importer: Castello di Neive is owned by the Stupino family, siblings Anna, Giulio, Italo, and Piera. In 1964 the family purchased the castle with its spacious cellars, along with more land and farmsteads in Santo Stefano and Marcorino. 

Castello di Neive comprises a 150 acre (60 hectares) estate, all in the Neive town council, in the Langhe area of the Piedmont region. Sixty-two acres of the property are devoted to grape growing and all the production (approximately 12,000 cases a year) is obtained from Castello di Neive’s own vines in the following vineyards:  Basarin, Cortini, Gallina, Marcorino, Messoirano-Montebertotto; Santo Stefano and Valtorta.

Recently released photographs from the winery’s library show that, as early as 1904, Pinot Nero was being bottled at the castle, and that by 1925 Nebbiolo was recognized as a fine wine grape with varietal labeling.  Now, roughly one century later, the Stupino family continues tradition of cultivating and vinifying these noble varieties as well as the often overlooked Barbera and Dolcetto and the local favorite, Grignolino. The Stupinos’ winemaking philosophy is to respect a centuries-old heritage of winemaking while embracing new technologies and research activities—both in the vineyard and in the cellars.

I say: Perhaps I should have had this one yesterday, but since we are still in the area: Barbaresco. Cherries, spice, herbs and flowers. Medium bodied, with some good acidity. Vibrant and fresh!

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