Friday, May 15, 2015

Wine & Food of the Giro 2015 Stage 7: Terra Cesanese & Ricotta & Fava Crostini

Where are we: Grosseto - Fiuggi  264 KM - Flat

Grosseto lies on the Tuscan coast of the area known as the Maremma.
Wikipedia tells me that it is the home of the first writer of the Italian language: "Andrea da Grosseto was born in Grosseto in the first half of 1200. He is considered the first writer in the Italian language. Andrea da Grosseto translated from Latin the Moral Treaties of Albertano of Brescia, in 1268. His texts were written in the Italian language, without too many redundancies and constructions, words and typical ways of speech of the vernacular and the dialect. The writer intended to not utilise his own Grossetan dialect, but to use a general "Italian national language". In fact he twice refers to the vernacular which he uses defining it italico (Italic). So Andrea da Grosseto was the first to intend to use vernacular as a national unifying language from the North to the South of the entire Peninsula." 

Fiuggi is a comune in the province of Frosinone in the region of Lazio. The town became famous for its Acqua di Fiuggi which flows from its natural springs and mountains.  Various medical studies have been performed and published in Italian scientific journals citing evidence that Fiuggi water is beneficial for dissolving kidney stones and improving kidney function. 

The stage: A very long stage today and everyone has one question: Will he or won't he? He will, as shoulder issues and all, Contador did take the start. More on his condition here.  
Our breakaway riders of the day: Bandiera, Boem, Mihaylov, and De Negri. 
It was looking like a slow day:


With 116 kilometers to go, the break had ten minutes. Seventy seven kilometers to go and the gap was at 7'42." As we near his home, a possible review of an attack to come.

Sixty kilometers to go and the gap was still around six minutes. It was really a slog for the riders today. Then the peloton woke up:

That gap continued to drop and with twenty kilometers to go, the group was all together again. Where is Pirazzi? Tunnel time:

Impressive ride by Greipel who is still with the group. But it was not to be for him today. Instead, after seven hours and twenty two minutes, Diego Ulissi.

Stage: Diego Ulissi


GC: Unchanged

Wine: Terra Cesanese 2013 
(80% Cesanese, 20% Nostrano)
Importer link:
In Roman times, Piglio was considered privileged to cultivate the vine. This territory known as Civitella was in fact an old Roman town. Many signs of ancient wine-making have been found like the discovery of old Anfore or wine-making tools.
Before Cesanese this area was full of Nostrano. An ancient grape that Mario Macciocca is trying to bring back to life. Nostrano was removed to plant Cesanese because it wasn’t very productive. Nostrano hasn’t been registered yet a grape variety.
The word Cesanese comes from the Latin word Cese which means “small forest”. Deforesting was necessary in order to plant Cesanese vines.
Cesanese arrives in Piglio in the 800s. The Clone arrived from Affile but found a much better habitat in Piglio.
Cesanese is a grape that generates wines that are full of strength and power. It shines in the area of Piglio which is a town under the province of Frosinone in Lazio. Piglio terrains may vary from limestone when closer to the mountains to volcanic soils in the valley. At Mario Macciocca’s winery, the terrain is a mixture of clay and rock. Cesanese prefers clay over a rock-bed. On a rocky terrain, it becomes too high in alcohol and has too many tannins and acidity. Some producers end up with wines that are 16% and therefore very hard to drink.
The Cesanese Terra 2013 from Mario Macciocca is 80% Cesanese and 20% Nostrano. It macerates for 10 days in stainless steel from a spontaneous fermentation. The 1 year elevage in wood is in large chestnut barrels (20 hl) or used French oak. The rest of the elevage is in bottle. It’s unfiltered and very low sulphur is used (30 mg).

The activity of the company began in 1945 when Joseph Macciocca decided to buy new land for viticulture. Built shortly after the winery dediclò entirely to trade in wine until 1969. The reins of the company passed to his wife, Elvira, who supervised the vineyard with dedication and joy; today is the grandson to take care of the vineyard giving new luster to the company. The land on which are placed the vineyards are located in the countryside of Piglio, is un'estenzione about three hectares and grown on clay of volcanic origin and a height above sea level of about 380 meters and in light and Clivio with excellent exposure to the sun.

I say: Deep and dark red.  Full, but not too heavy, though it does feel like a bit of a steak wine.

Food: Crostini with homemade "ricotta." Note: purists will tell you that you cannot really make ricotta at home as it is traditionally made from recooked whey. That said, this is a very easy cheese to make and is a great sub for the sometimes mediocre ricotta available in many supermarkets.

I followed this recipe from TheKitchn. 

How did I use it? 
On crostini with a puree made from more of my backyard fava beans.

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