Tuesday, September 2, 2014

More Vuelta Wine: Heading North with Bengoetxe Getariako Txakolina

The race: While we were away, watching but not writing, the race has continued. What has been happening? Well, it has been very,very warm and there have been sprints, with a few climbs mixed in. Also, Contador has admitted that he is trying to win the race, after insisting early on that he was not in shape. 

The current GC is:
1 Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team 35:58:05
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:03
3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:08
4 Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida 0:00:09
5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:28
6 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:30
7 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:06
8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:19
9 Rigoberto Urán (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:01:26
10 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano

Today, after a rest day, we have Stage 10, an individual time trial. The Podium Cafe stage preview is here. Also, check out the stage preview on Inrng here. I liked this bit of info from the preview: Borja, today’s stage finish, is a town of just 5,000 people but remarkable for two different facts. First, it gives name to the house of Borgia (Spanish Borja [ˈborxa] is read [ˈbɔɾdʒa] in Catalan, then Italian, where the spelling becomes Borgia), a powerful family during the Italian Renaissance. This house produced two popes, many enemies and a handful of infamous legends. If you have heard or read stories about popes having wives and children and taking part in orgies, the Borja/Borgia family is probably behind them. Second, in 2012 a local old lady tried to restore the Ecce Homo, a religious painting, with a disastrous result which gave notoriety to an otherwise irrelevant fresco.

If Tony Martin does not win today, I'll be shocked and indeed, he came in at 47:02, 11 seconds ahead of Fabian Cancellara to take the stage lead. The main excitement though, was expected to come from the gc riders. Can Chris Froome take time out of his rivals? We shall see. 

An excellent prize indeed. Meanwhile, time for the gc riders. On the course, Froome looked slow in comparison to Contador. But the split screen pictures can be deceiving. Behind, Quintana is reported as 33 seconds behind Contador, but would that hold up? At the first time check, Contador was ahead of his rivals. And then, yikes: Quintana crashed. He was back up and riding, but was the Vuelta gc done for him? There will be lots of climbing still ahead, but he will lose some significant time today. Back on course, Uran was in with a provisional third, a very good ride for him. Froome in with a provisional 8th, slower than expected. Behind him, Valverde in with a provisional 7th. Contador, provisionally 4th. Finally, Quintana finished and he had indeed lost a lot of time, 4 minutes down to Martin and 3 minutes to many of his rivals. 

Stage: Tony Martin

The wine: Bengoetxe Getariako Txakolina 2011 $19.99  
Christy says: One of the few producers in the region working organically and naturally. From Jose Pastore's book

From the importer, Jose Pastor:
Distinctive wines, wines that speak of their terruño, come from lovingly tended and organically farmed grapes.  It is this nurturing philosophy, rare in the Basque Country, a region dominated by industrial farming and winemaking, which drives Iñaki and Rosa Maria Etxeberria to produce Bengoetxe.

One of the few producers in the D.O. that's not located right next to the coast, and in or directly near the town of Getaria.  Using historic evidence of pre-phylloxera plantings that vineyards were inland, Olaberria, Iñaki fought for years to be included in the D.O.  Finally he persuaded the Consejo Regulador- the governing body that controls membership, winegrowing, and winemaking rules for Getariako Txakolina- to grant them D.O status in 2008.

Bengoetxe's terruño gives a different face to Txakoli. Their village Olaberria is a little warmer, especially in the summer, and the soils more clay dominated than their coastal neighbor's. Their grapes are riper, sturdier grapes.

Thankfully, the Etxeberria's do not intend to make a copy-cat Txakolina. Classic and slow wild yeast fermentation takes place in small 3.000 litros vats, located in their home garage, then the wine is raised on the lees up to a year with no batonnage.  SO2 levels are kept to a minimum and because all CO2 “is natural” (not injected) the wine does not often show the spritzy character of other Txakolis from Getaria.
Bengoetxe: 95% Hondarribi Zuri and 5% Gros Manseng, from a single certified organic 3.5 ha vineyard planted on a moderately steep slope of mostly clay, located in the highlands of the province of Gipuzkoa, this is fermented with wild yeasts in small 3,000 liter steel vats, and raised on the lees for up to one year.  It is bottled unfiltered and unfined. All CO2 is natural. It shows lush lemony fruit, hints of grains, a touch of petrol and chamomile/a uniquely savory Txakoli wine to pair with Serrano ham, sheep’s cheeses, fresh seafood and poultry. 1.700 cases produced.
I say: I admit it, this producer is a little further north than today's stage. But I wanted to include it. I really liked this wine. Bracing acidity, but also richer than I expected, with that lemony fruit mentioned above. Tangy and mineral.

No comments:

Post a Comment