Thursday, May 14, 2015

Wine & Food of the Giro 2015, Stage 6: Talenti Brunello de Montalcino & Gnocchi

Where are we: Tuscany!
Montecatini Terme - Castiglione Della Pescaia 183 kilometers

Montecatini Terme is a town in the province of Pistoia in Tuscany, Italy. It is the biggest spa-town in Italy. The thermal baths in Montecatini Terme offer over 50,000 sq m of thermal structures and 9 beautiful spas immersed in 430,000 sq m of beautiful parks. The spas Tettuccio, Regina, Leopoldine, La Salute, Torretta, Redi, Excelsior, Tamerici, and the Grocco Thermal Institute provide a complete system of treatment therapies and services by qualified medical doctors. The purest salty-sulphate-alkaline water, rich in precious minerals, is unique in the world. Its curing and healing properties vary depending on the sources from which they spring.

Castiglione della Pescaia is a seaside town in the province of Grosseto. The modern city grew around a medieval fortress and a large fishery, from which it got its designation. The tourism website tells me that the town has earned the nickname “Svizzera della Maremma” (Switzerland of the Maremma) not for its organisational skills, but for the quaint aspect of its pastel coloured buildings, which stretch to the feet of the port and are often shadowed by the grand oaks and wild grape vines that wind their way through the streets.

The stage: On paper, this should be a sprint stage. Thus, expect a doomed break followed by a charging peloton and bunch sprint. Indeed, an early break composed of Bandiera, Rutkiewicz, Groau, Malaguti, and Marangoni. After the last few hectic day, the bunch was probably happy to have a more relaxed ride. 
Relaxed ride, by the way, is code for a dull stage to watch. Pretty though!
Even the official Giro twitter feed seems a bit bored:


Sure enough, the expected sprint finish, but with a crash. Word early that it was possibly caused by a spectator leaning over the barricades. Awful looking injury for Colli. Caught up in the crash, Alberto Contador. More here. We will have to see what that means going forward. I suggest taking a look at this Podium Cafe post on spectators and cycling.




1. Alberto Contador (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo, in 20-25-43
2. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana, at 2 seconds
3. Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky, at 20 seconds
4. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo, at 22 seconds
5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana, at 28 seconds
6. Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-GreenEdge, at 37 seconds
7. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar, at 56 seconds
8. Mikel Landa (Esp) Astana, at 1-01
9. Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin, at 1-15
10. Andrey Amador (Crc) Movistar, at 1-18

Wine: 05 Talenti Brunello de Montalcino 

From the producer: The Winery was established in 1980, when Pierluigi Talenti decided to buy the fascinating property and grounds with which he had fallen in love in the Fifties, when he had decided to leave the mountains of his native Romagna for the sweet and sunny hills of Montalcino.
Situated in the South area of Montalcino, not far from the small medieval borough of S. Angelo in Colle, stands Pian di Conte, a beautiful building of antique origins, which looks on the gentle valley of the river Orcia and is the seat of the Talenti winery. At present the Winery owns a total of 40 hectares, 20 of which are vineyard (Brunello, Rosso di Montalcino and I.G.T.), 4 hectares olive-grove and the rest orchard, forest and sown ground.

The Brunello is the red wine which constitutes the "heart" of the Talenti winery, produced with 100% Sangiovese grapes since 1981, it grows in the Winery’s best vineyards. After careful vinification the wine matures in oak barrels  for two and a half years, followed by 12 months ageing in the bottle before being sold.
When on the shelf, the wine is ruby-red in colour with an intense, characteristic and delicate aroma, harmonious, with a hint of vanilla and red fruit, wide and warm taste. Persistent, very harmonious and tasty, with a structure and complexity which gives the wine longevity.

I say: Well aren't you gorgeous. Spices and flowers. Mature but could also age for more time. An excellent reminder that stashing a few bottles away for a few years can be a very good idea. This will probably be the wine of the race.

Food: Gnocchi 
Back to our friend Pasta By Hand today for a simple gnocchi recipe. For today's stage we went old school with a potato version. The ingredients were simply potatoes, flour and salt. I had mine with pesto leftover from the Ligruian stages. K had her portion with grated parmesan.

You can find the Jenn Louis' recipe for nettle gnocchi here and more recipes on her website.

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