Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wines of the Giro Stage 17: Pirazzi Wins from the Breakaway & Maculan Marzemino

Where are we: Riding 208 kilometers through the Veneto. Sarnonico is a summer holiday resort, renowned for its pinewoods and lovely walking in a mild and generally dry climate.
Vittorio Veneto was founded in honor of the first King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel II. It is renowned for the battle against the Austrian army during World War I. 

Our foods of the day include:  gnoci smalzadi (dumplings made with raw potatoes, seasoned with butter and bacon), polenta with wild game or goulash, barley soup (with speck and smoked pork meat), goulash soup, Terlaner-weinsuppe (egg cream with Terlan wine); Mortandela della Val di Non (traditional cured meat); tortel (potato quiche with charcuterie and mountain pasture-fed cheese), Lucanica sausage with sauerkraut, roasted ham hock and potato rosti, cabbage with smoked bacon; strudel, apple pie, krapfen (Berliner), torta de formenton (buckwheat cake)
Sardèe in saor (sardines in onion sauce), grilled Treviso radicchio, smoked herrings (rènga) with polenta, fasòi col musèt (bean and cotechino soup); tripe (with or without broth); bigoli (extruded pasta) in anchovy sauce; sopressa (aged salami); cavret in tecia (pan-cooked baby goat), hare meat with prosecco wine; tiramisu, pandoro, pinza (cake made of flour and dried fruit, served with red or mulled wine).
The route: If the bunch is willing to chase, quite possibly a day for the sprinters. But I'm guessing a breakaway stays away. Inrng stage preview here.

The race: First, about yesterday. To be honest, I'm still confused. It appears that communication was very unclear. Lots more here and here and here. Polemica aside, quite a few did not finish the stage: Daniele Colli & Mauro Finetto (both Neri Sottoli), Arnaud Courteille (FDJ), Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Sharp), Alessandro Petacchi (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Michele Scarponi (Astana).

On the road today, they are in the sun and have been in a hurry. Our early morning breakway consisted of Enrico Gasparotto (Astana), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale), Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani), Nicola Boem (Bardiani), Marco Canola (Bardiani), Jos Van Emden (Belkin), Daniel Oss (BMC), Oscar Gatto (Cannondale), Johan Le Bon (FDJ), Jussi Viekkanen (FDJ), Daniano Cunego Lampre-Merida), Mattio Bono (Lmapre-Merida), Lars Bak (Lotto-Belisol), Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol), Igor Anton (Movistar), Thomas De Gendt (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Davide Malacarne (Europcar), Simon Geschke (Giant-Shimano), Alberto Losada (Katusha), Eduard Vorganov (Katusha), Philip Deignan (Sky), Evgeni Petrov (Tinkoff-Saxo), Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Fabio Felline (Trek Factory Racing). A late addition to that group: Frapporti. The best placed rider in today's break is Damiano Cunego who is over 48 minutes behind Quintana, so he's no threat to the maglia rosa. With 100 kilometers to go, their gap was 6:35. With 90 kilometers to go, it was over eight minutes. Perhaps a day for the break indeed?
After the drama of yesterday, today's stage had been and seemed likely to remain a day more about the lovely scenery. It was another day that the announcers requested comments and questions from twitter. 

Fifty two kilometers to go and the gap was almost twelve minutes. More vineyards along the way.

Ahead, some rain at the finish line, while the gap remained above 10 minutes. 
Rumor of the day:

And this:

More, from the PodiumCafe live stage thread: Sporza now calling Guy Dobbelaere, head of race jury: “Manager of Tinkoff and Cannondale represented the teams. The race jury misexpressed themselves. Meant to just show where the dodgy corners were. Team managers asked to correct the times, but that’s not possible. Also because we don’t have the correct times at the top and the bottom of the Stelvio. Nothing will be changed. We told this to Cannondale and Tinkoff. We haven’t heard from the teams since. Race organisers never checked with the jury about what they were gonna do. It’s a fault of the translation. We checked with the UCI in Switzerland, and they agree with us. The rules don’t allow us to change anything. This was a race incident, it’s passed, it’s over. We aren’t going to do anything any more, I don’t think the teams are going to do anything either.”
More here

Eventually attacking form the break and getting a gap rather quickly: Thomas De Gendt. Wet roads at that point and a crash in the breakaway: Le Bon, Frapporti and Vorganov. 

With just over twenty kilometers to go, DeGendt was caught by Pirazzi. The theme for next kilometers was slippery when wet. Lots of small slips and crashes. Behind, Movistar slowed the peloton. Ahead, they raced on. 

Soon they were joined by Montaguti, McCarthy and Wellens. There were many attempts to catch them, but with 5.5 kilometers to go, they were still away from the chasers behind. The peloton meanwhile was fourteen minutes back. 
One kilometer to go and Pirazzi jumped from that group. As the others looked at each other and did not chase, he won decisively. A third stage win for Bardiani! Meanwhile, many kilometers back, the peloton continued their semi-relaxed day.

Stage: Stefano Pirazzi
GC: unchanged
1 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 68:11:44  
2 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:01:41  
3 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:03:21  
4 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:03:26  
5 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:03:28  
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:34  
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:03:49  
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:04:06  
9 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp 0:04:16  
10 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Trek Factory Racing 0:08:02  

The wine: Maculan Marzemino 2010

From the importer: For three generations the Maculan family has been selecting and vinifying the best grapes in Breganze, an enchanting village at the foot of the Alps in Italy’s Veneto region. While the surrounding mountains protect the area from cold winds, creating a perfect microclimate for the cultivation of wine grapes, it is Fausto Maculan’s drive and commitment that sets these wines apart and distinguishes Maculan as an innovative, dynamic winery.
It can be said that Fausto Maculan was born to make wine, having been birthed in the very building that today houses his office at the Maculan winery. At age 13, he began working at the winery during school vacations and visiting customers with the assistance of a driver (he was too young to have a license).
At the age of 14, Fausto enrolled at the famed School of Enology in Conegliano, where he graduated with honors in 1970. He then completed an obligatory year of military service as an official of the valiant Alpine Corps, a division of the Italian Army known to have a long-standing affinity for wine. Finally, Fausto realized his true calling - managing the viticultural, productive, and commercial aspects of the family business, under the credo of “a small winery making great products.” He studied diligently, traveled to the best winemaking areas in the world, including Bordeaux in France, and boldly experimented with his wines — at times arousing incredulity among observers.

The Maculan farm comprises 37 acres of estate-owned vineyards in the charming town of Breganze. Located in the Veneto region about 12 miles north of Vicenza and roughly equidistant from Verona and Venice, Maculan also has contracts with growers of another 125 vineyard acres within the Breganze DOC. The location of Breganze at the southernmost foothills of the Dolomite Alps provides perfect southern exposures along with protection from central European winters.

Wine Description

This wine is made from %100 Marzemino grapes. The word cornorotto, meaning broken horn, is taken from the name of an area on the hills overviewing Breganze. The grapes are hand harvested in September and are slightly dried for one week, prior to fermentation in stainless steel tanks.
Intense ruby red in color, this wine has aromas of ripe black fruits with notes of black berries. On the palate it shows intense and persistent flavors. The texture is soft and velvety with very light tannins.
Pair this wine with gamey ragouts, roasted meats, and mixed grilled meats.

I say: First off: marzemino. Wiikipedia tells me that "Marzemino is a red Italian wine grape variety that is primarily grown around Isera, south of Trentino. The wine is most noted for its mention in the opera Don Giovanni of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ("Versa il vino! Eccellente Marzemino!"). Wine produced from the grape has a characteristic dark tint and light plummy taste."

From the color, I was expecting something very full and rich. Instead, plums and spice, with more acidity than I would have thought. That was day one, on day two this wine came alive. What had seemed acidity and muted had become full and rich. Food pairing? More air? Moon cycle? Who knows? But a good reminder that re-tasting is often a very good idea.

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