Friday, May 27, 2016

Wine and Food of the Giro 2016 Stage 19: Barolo & Bra Duro Starvecchio

Where are we? Visiting France. Riding from 162 kilometers from Pinerolo to Risoul. 

From the Giro site:  Pinerolo, lying at the edge of Val Chisone, is known as the “town of cavalry”. Horsemen have come here from all over the world to learn the most important skills in horse-riding since the 19th century.
One of the major events is the historical re-enactment of the legend of the “Man in the iron mask”. According to folklore, this mysterious historical figure was said to live in the village of Pinerolo, and a little monument on the San Maurizio hill was dedicated to this legend.

Risoul, located in the French province of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, is a major winter and summer tourist destination, offering visitors a stunning mountain landscape and a well-equipped ski area. Risoul is also known for the production of a famous apple variety bearing the same name, which used to be exported even to northern Africa, thanks to its extended preservation period.
COOKING: The Risoul apple 
WINE: Hautes-Alpes, Méditerranée (white, red and rosé)

The stage: 
The break was slow to get organized, but eventually it was there.

Scarponi would be the first over the top, winning the Cima Coppi, for being the first over the highest climb of the race. Next over Nieve and Ulissi. Behind, riding together Nibali, Chaves and Kruijswijk. Valverde would cross about one minute behind them. Fifty kilometers to go and the pink jersey was down in a dramatic crash into a snow bank.
Kruiswijk was back on the bike and chasing Nibali and Chazes ahead. A very scary crash for Zakarin, off the road. Eventually news came that he was sitting up, probably with a broken collarbone, which given the way the crash looked, was good news. 

The time gaps seem to be all over the place today.Twelve kilometers to go and the gap to Monfort from the Chazes-Nibali group was dropping quickly. 

Ten kilometers to go and that group caught Monfort. Nibali attacked, followed by Chaves and Nieve. Behind, Kruiswijk was losing his group. He looked to be cracking. Yikes. Just under seven kilometers to go and Chaves was the virtual pink on the road. At just about the same time, Ulissi rejoined the front group. Several attacks from Nibali had him solo in the lead.  The fans at the roadside were thrilled. Three kilometers to go and he had about 13 seconds over Chazes. Nieve would catch Chaves, as further behind, Kruiswisk seemed to be recovering slightly. 

I admit it. I'm very happy for Nibali. 

He finished and then sobbed. Now time to watch the gaps behind. Indeed, Chaves into pink. Tomorrow will be very interesting. 

Stage:Vincenzo Nibali 



Wine: 2001 Alessandro e Gian Natale Fantino "Vigna dei Dardi" Barolo Riserva

From the importerIf you are not yet familiar with brothers Alessandro and Gian Natale Fantino of Monforte d’Alba, here is a great opportunity to meet these Barolo veterans. Natives of Piemonte, they boast extensive experience crafting old-school, terroir-driven Nebbiolo. Alessandro managed winemaking for twenty years at the esteemed Bartolo Mascarello estate, before ultimately teaming up with his brother in the family cellars as the fratelli focused exclusively on their own production.
    The Fantino holdings in the steep Bussia vineyard of Monforte are crucial to this endeavor. They sustainably work old vines in the small Dardi sub-section, a perfectly exposed plot that gives rich, structured Barolo as good young as it is old. The traditionalist ways in the cellar, with spontaneous fermentations and an eschewal of new oak, only serve to highlight the impeccably farmed fruit from this time-tested site.

    We are thrilled to present this special offer of the 2001 Fantino Barolo, in the heart of its peak drinking window. Alessandro lauds the vintage for the elegant, feminine wines it yielded. Full-bodied yet delicate in aroma and texture, it is loaded with savory, spicy, earthy aromas that could only come from the King of Wines. Perfectly mature, this Barolo is ready to be uncorked tonight and fully capable of taking a holiday feast to the next level. Hats off to Sandro and Gianni!

I say: Wow. Showing its age in the color. Rust notes in the red. Mature, but not old. Savory, spicy, really just a joy to drink. 
Food: Bra Duro Starvecchio Cheese

Made in the Cuneo Province of Piedmont, this is the more aged Bra making it firm to hard in texture and more concentrated in its flavors of nuts, herbs and hay. 

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