Thursday, May 25, 2017

Wine & Food of the Giro 2017 Stage 18

Moena – Ortisei/St. Urlich, 137 km

Placed between the Latemar, the Vallaccia and the Costalunga passage, it is known as “the Dolomites Fairy” and is the most populous and pretty village of the Val di Fassa.
From the Giro site:
FOOD: Knödel, ciajoncìe (ravioli stuffed with potatoes and dry figs), apple strudel, fortaes (fried funnel cakes served with fruit jam); Puzzone di Moena DOP, Nostrano di Fassa and Cuor di Fassa (cheeses), speck; schüttelbrot and puces (bread types), honey.
Ortisei is the most lively and important village of Val Gardena.
This colourful alpine village features a charming pedestrian area with plenty of pubs, restaurants, shops and lovely sqqures. The ancient ladin culture is witnessed by churches, monuments and by the “Museo de Gherdëina”.
Food: Panicia (barley soup), jufa (milk mousse and corn flour), grosti da patac (toast with potatoes), crafuncins (fresh pasta with spinachs).

The stage:
This should be a good one. 

Behind, many attacks and back and forth. 

Thirteen kilometers to go and it was Landa and vanGarderen at the front. 

 Attack by Quintana. He would get a small gap, but not the distance he was looking for. Ahead, vanGarderen dropped Landa, but Landa would catch him. Continued small attacks from the favorites group, but would anyone have the legs to get away?

To my surprise,  Tejay would hang on!


Wine: Pomodolce croatina 
From Biondivino:
Azienda Pomodolce is located in Piedmont, within the district of Alessandria. Specifically Montemarzino, where you find three different production zones; Fontanino, Pomodolce e Barone. All vineyard work is done according to organic viticulture, with respect to quality and yield. 
A bit on the grape Croatina. AKA Bonarda; this is an ancient varietal is planted throughout Piedmont, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna. In Lombardy’s Oltrepo’ Pavese and Emilia’s Colli Piacentini it is known strictly as Bonarda. 100% Bonarda is grown in Piedmont, however it is typically blended with other varietals.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wine & Food of the Giro 2017 Stage 17

Tirano – Canazei, 219 km

Where are we?
Tirano:Pride and joy of Tirano is the Bernina Red Train, Unesco World Heritage, which starts from Tirano and arrives in St. Moritz, reaching the altitude of 2.250 mt, thus giving tourists the opportunity to see amazing places.
From the Giro site:
FOOD: Bitto (cheese), bresaola, pizzoccheri (buckwheat pasta with cheese and Savoy cabbage), polenta taragna.
WINE: Sassella, Grumello, Inferno, Sforzato, Valgella, Maroggia, Valtellina Superiore (red).

Canazei : Michelin tells me that Lying deep in the Dolomites, framed between the Catinaccio, Torri del Vaiolet, Sella mountain range and the Marmolada, Canazei is an excellent base for excursions and climbs in the Marmolada range. The church has a shingle roof, an onion-shaped belfry and a façade bearing a painted image of St Christopher.
Food: Knödel, ciajoncìe (ravioli stuffed with potatoes and dry figs), apple strudel, fortaes (fried funnel cakes served with fruit jam); Puzzone di Moena DOP, Nostrano di Fassa and Cuor di Fassa (cheeses), speck; schüttelbrot and puces (bread types), honey.

The stage: 

And away the break would stay, with Rolland attacking to take a lead.

He would hold on!




Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb76:05:38 
2Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:00:31 
3Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:01:12 
4Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ0:02:38 
5Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:02:48 
6Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:05 
7Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:03:49 
8Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors0:04:35 
9Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:06:20 
10Jan Polanc (Slo) Team UAE Emirates0:06:33 

Wine: Cantina Furlani Rosso Alpino 

From the importer:
Towering over the alpine city of Trento, at some 700+ meters of altitude, are the tiny parcels of vines tended by Matteo Furlani.  Matteo is the current custodian of his family plots high in the Dolomites; he is a fourth generation winemaker. 
After studying agronomy, not winemaking (he learned that from his father and grandfather) Matteo set his sights on working his land in the most natural of ways. Chemicals were never a part of what Matteo's predecessors used to tend the vines yet Matteo took an even more rigorous approach, incorporating biodynamic preparations and methodologies in the vineyards today.  

Food: Polenta Taragna
I admit it, this is not a pretty food. But I wanted to try this regional specialty. Essentially you combine traditional polenta with buckwheat flour. It is then finished with cheese, in my case, Taleggio. Some sources suggest it is a meal alone, some suggest serving with sausages. Rib-sticking either way.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Wine of the Giro 2017 Stage 16

Rovetta – Bormio, 227 km (cima Coppi - Stelvio)

Where are we? Heading across the Alps.
Rovetta:is located about 80 kilometres northeast of Milan and about 30 kilometres northeast of Bergamo
From the Giro site:
Casonsei with a sage, butter and pancetta sauce, tagliolini with porcino mushorroms, polenta; mais Rostrato di Rovetta (a local corn variety), torta Rostratella (cornmeal cake), flour and crackers made with Rostrato corn, bertù di San Lorenzo di Rovetta (ravioli with a cotechino filling). 

Bormio is in the Alta Valtellina. 
Food: Pizzoccheri (buckwheat pasta), sciatt (cheese-filled fritters), manfrigole (buckwheat crepes), bresaola, Scimudin cheese.
Wine: Sassella, Grumello, Inferno, Sforzato, Valgella, Maroggia, Valtellina Superiore (red).

Stage:  Up we go. La Cima Coppi today. Plus, Switzerland.

Taking la Cima Coppi prize, Mikel Lande, cresting the Stelvio first.

Digestive issues for Dumlouin and he is forced to stop. Rather than waiting, the rivals follow Zakrin's attack. Inside thirty kilometers and the gap back to him was 1:30. 

Behind, Nibali, Quintana, Zakarin and Pozzovivo got some distance from the other leaders. 

Nibali! Quintana would follow. 

Nibali would ocntinue to take time on the descent. He appears to bunny hop some water on his way down.And he would hang on for the stage win. The first for Italy in this year's race.

Wine: Balgera Inferno 2010 from Dig
From the importerThe Valtellina is a very small wine-producing region in the mountains north of Milan, just south of the Alps that border Switzerland. The predominant grape variety is Nebbiolo, usually referred to here as Chiavennasca, and this is (along with the Barolo/Barbaresco area and the string of appellations in northern Piedmont, such as Ghemme and Lessona) one of the best places for this classic variety. The Valtellina valley runs East-West, and the steep slopes on the northern face of the valley are terraced for grapevines in what the Italians call 'heroic viticulture;' the amount of work involved in establishing and maintaining the terracing alone is hard to imagine, never mind working the vineyards. 
Blend: 95% Nebbiolo, 5% other local varieties such as Rossola Nera, Pignola. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Wine & Food of the Giro 2017 Stage 14

Castellania – Oropa, 131 km

Where are we? Going uphill!

Castellania is the focal point of that area that is reknowned as “Coppi Hills”: a territory in the Appenines which can be discovered through cycling tours or tours of other kinds, from the mountains to the sea.
 From the Giro site:
FOOD: Montebore cheese (Slow Food heritage), salame Nobile del Giarolo (Slow Food heritage), nocciola Gentile del Piemonte (hazelnuts), white truffles, organic honey.
WINE: Barbera, Cortese, Croatina (red), Timorasso (white).

OROPA (BIELLA) The Oropa Sanctuary is placed at the height of 1,200 mt and is since many centuries ago the destination of believers who comes up to pray in front of the Black Virgin Mary. The sacred mount which surrounds the Sancturay is one of the Unesco World Heritage sites.

Food: Pulenta cunscia (polenta with cheese from local pastures), fondue, ris an cagnùn (risotto with toma cheese and browned butter); salam d’la duja (salami dipped in pork lard), salam d’ patata (salami with potatoes); honey or grape mostarda (served with bollito misto); paste di Meliga and canestrelli (biscuits). Wine: Lessona (red), Bramaterra (red), Gattinara (red, Nebbiolo grapes), Erbaluce di Caluso (white, spumante, passito); Menabrea beer. 

 The stage:

Off to the hills:

 Under thirty kilometers and the gap was under a minute. A question: is that a whale?

Battles ahead as the trains form at the bottom of the climb. Under ten kilometers to go and an attempt by Diego Rosa to launch himself off the front. Six kilometers to go and he was caught. Next to launch, Igor Anton.  But there came the gc guys, led by Zakarin. Four kilometers to go, it was Quintana, Zakarin and Pozzovivo. Just over three kilometers to go and Quintana was alone at the front. Dumoulin continues to work behind and his gap was not growing rapidly. Missing from the front group, Pinot. Two kilometers to go and Quintana had only seven seconds. Under the final kilometer and it was Dumoulin at the front. Stage win and bonus seconds for Dumoulin. That was VERY impressive.

Wine: Azienda Vitivinicola Massimo Clerico, Costa della Sesia Rosso Ca’ du Leria
From the importer: The Clerico family has worked the land in Lessona since the 1700s. In fact, the Clerico estate, under the direction of Sandrino Clerico (Massimo’s father), was one of the three original vineyards awarded the right to the Lessona appellation when it was first created in 1976. The Clerico family owns two hectares within the designated Lessona zone which, by the way, makes the Clerico azienda the third largest landholder in the appellation!

Food: Fondue! Our recipe has not changed from our Cooking from the Books days. 
8 oz. grated cheese
1 cup white wine
As much nutmeg as K felt like grating
1 teaspoon corn starch

Heat wine over a medium-high heat until it begins to foam but does not boil. Add cheese gradually, stirring all the while. Grate in nutmeg and continue to stir until the mixture begins to thicken slightly. Add cornstarch and stir until the mixture thickens enough to coat your dipping items. Pour into a fondue pot and place over sterno to keep warm.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Wine & Food of the Giro 2017 Stage 13

Reggio Emilia – Tortona, 162 km

Where are we?
Tortona is a town in Piemonte, in the Province of Alessandria, Italy. Tortona is sited on the right bank of the Scrivia between the plain of Marengo and the foothills of the Ligurian Apennines.

From the Giro site:
FOOD Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar of Reggio Emilia, gnocco fritto (fried dough puffs), erbazzone (spinach and beet greens pie), tortelli verdi (with a spinach filling), ciccioli (crisp pork tidbits).

WINE: DOC Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa (red and white, from Malvasia, Lambrusco, Cabernet, Marzemino, Malbo and Spergola grape varieties), DOC Reggiano (Lambrusco and Lambrusco Salamino); DOC Bianco di Scandiano (Sauvignon).

The stage:

Also news today: the withdrawal of Geraint Thomas. 

On the road, another should be sprint stage. Speaking of sprints, Andre Greipel is going home tonight, not interested in struggling across the mountains to come. Thirty kilometers to go and it was under a minute. Dullest stage of the Giro so far? At this point, yes.
Just over twenty kilometers to go and the break was caught. Ten kilometers to go and still gruppo compatto. Finally, a messy sprint won yet again by Gaviria. Wow. Sean Kelly: "best sprint of the Giro so far."


Wine: Monsecco 2012 Colline Novaresi Nebbiolo from Dig
From the importer There is almost a religious reverence in the Alto Piemonte for Monte Rosa, the mountain that hovers over the region, the grand eminence that protects and nurtures the region. It is visible from all points whether one is in Gattinara or Sizzano or Ghemme, an eternally white-topped mountain whose melting snows form the Sesia river that splits Gattinara from Ghemme. The soils of these hills are marked by the mineral salts and the glacial moraine from millennia of geological movement. Further, sitting in the foothills of this part of the Alps and neighboring the great lakes of Orta and Maggiore, the vines are exposed to large variations in temperature, warm days married to cool nights: an ideal ambience for the noble Nebbiolo and the other local varieties, all of which benefit from the long growing season to reach proper ripeness while maintaining a lively acidity.

Food: Gnocco Fritto
Gnocco Fritto because it is one of the Giro picks. Essentially fried bread, often served with cured meat. And what could be wrong with that? I had mine at one of my favorite SF restaurants, Delfina.  
If you'd like to try making it at home, this recipe from Academia Barilla, looks pretty doable for a home cook. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Wine & Food of the Giro 2017 Stage 12

Forlì – Reggio Emilia, 237 km

Where are we?

Forli: The central city of Romagna. 
The city is situated along the Via Emilia, to the right of the Montone river, and is an important agricultural center.

From the Giro site:
FOOD: Codfish stew, pappardelle with meat sauce, tagliatelle with stridoli (silene vulgaris leaves), tripe, tortelli with corn poppy, piadina della Madonna del Fuoco.
WINE: Doc Colli di Faenza (white, red – from Pinot, Trebbiano and Sangiovese grape varieties), Doc Pagadebit (white, both dry and sweet); Sangiovese and Cagnina di Romagna (red), Trebbiano di Romagna (white).

Reggio Emilia: The city belonged to the Este family (from 1409 to 1776). It is a rich industrial and commercial center located on the Via Emilia.
Food: Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar of Reggio Emilia, gnocco fritto (fried dough puffs), erbazzone (spinach and beet greens pie), tortelli verdi (with a spinach filling), ciccioli (crisp pork tidbits).
Wine: DOC Colli di Scandiano e di Canossa (red and white, from Malvasia, Lambrusco, Cabernet, Marzemino, Malbo and Spergola grape varieties), DOC Reggiano (Lambrusco and Lambrusco Salamino); DOC Bianco di Scandiano (Sauvignon).

The stage:  The longest stage of the Giro and one that should end up in a bunch sprint.

While things are quiet, which might describe this entire stage, I suggest this piece and this piece on concussions in cycling, focusing on a frightening incident earlier this week during the Tour of California. 

Under thirty kilometers to go and the gap was under 1:30. Twenty five kilometers to go and it was approaching one minute. 

It would be all together, soon enough. Would there be a late attack or was it full speed ahead to the expected sprint? Zhupa would attack, but would be caught. As sprint trains fell apart, Gaviria with another win. 

Wine: La Stoppa 07 Ageno
From the importer: La Stoppa is a 50 hectare property located in North-West Emilia-Romagna. Founded in the late 19th century by a wealthy lawyer named Gian-Marco Ageno, the estate is currently run by Elena Pantaleoni and head vignaiolo Giulio Armani. 32 hectares of vines are planted in Barbera and Bornada for red, as well as a small amount of Malvasia Candia, Ortrugo and Trebianno for whites.

I say: Orange wine alert. 30 days of skin maceration with natural yeasts creates a deep "orange" color.

Food: A Bolognese again. Why? Because I have the flu and the thought of food is unappealing, yet I have some in my freezer.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wine & Food of the Giro 2017 Stage 11

Firenze – Bagno di Romagna, 161 km

Where are we?
Firenze: Well, now Florence. The art, the renaissance, the bridges, the river. Or, if you have listened to me babble, the Medicis.
 FOOD: Tuscan (saltless) bread, extra-virgin olive oil, meat (the legendary “fiorentina” T-bone steak), salt cod, lampredotto (made from a cow’s fourth stomach – the abomasum), pappa al pomodoro (thick tomato soup), tripe, ribollita (bread and cabbage stew) and fresh pasta with wild game sauce.
WINE: Barco Reale di Carmignano (red), Chianti (red), Colli dell’Etruria Centrale (red), Pomino (white, red, Vin Santo), Vin Santo del Chianti, Vin Santo di Carmignano.

Bagno di Romagna: As it sounds, a Roman spa town. 
Food: Basotti, tortelli sulla lastra, focaccia dolce di Bagno (Easter cake), Raviggiolo cheese.
Wine: Colli della Romagna Centrale DOC, Romagna DOC, Rubicone IGT.

The stage:

Lots of action today. In front Landa and Fraile. Behind a large chasing group with chasers: Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), Hubert Dupont, Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale), Dario Cataldo, Tanel Kangert (Astana), Ben Hermans (BMC), Pierre Rolland, Hugh Carthy, Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Ivan Rovny (Gazprom-Rusvelo), Tomasz Marczynski, Maxime Monfort (Lotto Soudal), Andrey Amador, José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar), Ruben Plaza (Orica-Scott), Laurens De Plus (Quick-Step Floors), Igor Anton (Dimension Data), Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo), Philip Deignan (Team Sky), Laurens ten Dam (Team Sunweb), Rui Costa and Simone Petilli (UAE Team Emirates).

Forty five kilometers to go and the gap between the front and chasing groups had dropped to just over one minute. Forty two kilometers to go and it was down to thirty seconds, and three minutes plus to the main peloton. 
Forty kilometers to go and the front two groups combined.

 That front group would continue to shrink with Landa dropping back to hand out bottles to the peloton. Ahead, attacks from the front group. Twenty seven kilometers to go and Nibali attacked from the peloton, followed by the other favorites. Dropped from the group, Geraint Thomas.
Ahead, Rolland had a small gap. Coming up quickly, Fraille, to take the mountain points. Twenty kilometers to go and they had seventeen seconds over the group behind. Two minutes back to the main bunch. 

Eight kilometers to go and Costa caught the front duo. 

Kangert would reach the trio and it would be a quartet as they hit the final kilometer. Wow. A great win for Fraile!



Wine: Montesecondo 2014 Il Rosso from Dig
From the importer: Silvio's father purchased the property back in 1963; besides olive groves and forest, there were vineyards whose fruit was sold to the local co-op. Silvio bottled the estate's first wine in 2000 from their vineyards of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot; they are being replanted over time with massale selection vines.
Montesecondo wines have a tendency to run afoul of the powers-that-be in Chianti Classico: while Silvio's methods in the vineyard and cellar yield what many would and do consider pure, classically expressive Sangioveses, the way he gets there and occasionally the actual results (higher acidity, lighter color or darker color, etc.) led to enough issues over time that he bottles only one Classico and the rest of his wines as IGT Toscana. Silvio ferments with native yeasts only and does various-length macerations and aging in a variety of vessels (concrete, barrels, amphorae but with no new oak) . 

Food: Pecorino Toscano is a firm-textured sheep’s milk cheese produced in Tuscany. Since 1996 it has enjoyed protected designation of origin (PDO) status. 

Academia Barilla has a short history of the cheese here. Among other things, they say that "Sheep have been raised in Tuscany since the time of the Etruscans. The Romans are responsible for maintaining the tradition and also began to make cheese using the sheep’s milk.
The first to mention of “cacao,” or sheep’s milk cheese, is attributed to Plinio the Elder who wrote that it was made in the area of Lunigiana, the territory surrounding the ancient city of Luni located at the mouth of the Magra river. Tuscan pecorino is also mentioned by the most important authors of the 1400s who referred to it as cacio marzolino.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Wine & Food of the Giro 2017 Stage 10: Time Trial Time

Foligno – Montefalco, 39 km TT

Where are we? Umbria--the only Italian region having neither a coastline nor a border with other countries.
Foligno:The third largest city in Umbria, located along the River Topino.
From Michelin:
Situated 18km southeast of Assisi, this small town is worth a visit for its Romanesque dome and the frescoes adorning the 14C Palazzo Trinci.

From the Giro site: FOOD
Grass-pea soup, strangozzi and pappardelle with wild game sauce or truffle, cheese bread, rocciata (savoury strudel); Colfiorito lentils and red potatoes; extra-virgin “Muraiolo” olive oil.
WINE: Montefalco DOC: Montefalco Bianco DOC, Montefalco Grechetto DOC, Montefalco Rosso DOC e Montefalco Rosso DOC Riserva. Main vine variety: Grechetto, Trebbiano Spoletino, Sangiovese, Sagrantino.

Montefalco: Mount Falcon! Apparently aslo known as the ablcony of Umbria. An agricultire center. Apparently grape growing  is largely and with much care proved in legal documents dated year 1,000.

Food: Umbria DOP extra-virgin olive oil, honey, strangozzi (square spaghetti), gnocchi al Sagrantino (dumplings in wine sauce), maritozzi con il mosto (sweet must buns), la ‘ntorta (apple cake)
Wine: Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG: Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG e Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG passito. Vine variety: 100% Sagrantino.

The stage:
Our first time trial of the race. 
Lots of riders falling on the course. With the top GC ready to go, this was the status:

Wow. 51:26 for Geraint Thomas. Behind Tom Dumoulin, the favorite for the stage, was setting impressive intermediate times. Would he be in pink at the end?
Close for Bob Jungels, but he would come in seven seconds behind Thomas.
Nice ride from Nibali, finishing 1:18 down to Thomas.
Dumoulin in at 50:37, 49 seconds ahead of Thomas. Wow.



 Wine: Bea 07 Pipparello from Dig 
If it is Umbria it must be time for a Bea wine.  

From Italian Wine Merchants
As with all of Paolo Bea's wines, the estate uses non-interventionist techniques to grow grapes for its Montefalco Riserva Pipparello--a blend of about 60 percent Sangiovese with the rest split evenly between indigenous Umbrian grapes Montepulciano and Sagrantino. This natural wine is traditional in spirit, undergoing a long and unusual maceration of six weeks, extended aging in large neutral casks and delivered to market with additional bottle aging for approachability. Offering aromas of ripe blackberry layered with black pepper and licorice, this wine offers a soft, structured palate with a distinct streak of acidity and notes of ripe Morello cherry, blackcurrant, game, truffles and baked earth. An exceptional vintage in Umbria, this ’07 Montefalco Riserva Pipparello presents immediate drinkability combined with age-worthiness; soft, round, herbaceous and juicy, it’s a delicious bottle from one of IWM’s favorite cult producers.

 Food:  Umbrian lentils
From Market Hall foods: In the hills of southern Umbria, the Bartolini family have been growing olives, grains, and what they call pulses (legumes) since the 1850's. Their lentils are famous throughout Italy and beyond for their outstanding color, texture, & flavor. Pale brown and tan in color, the crops of Umbrian lentils are actually quite small, so the demand often outweighs the supply.
The fabled Castelluccio lentils are not a protected DOP product - this means the Italian government hasn't yet clamped down on imposters and refined the market to include only the authentic lentils of Castelluccio.  The tiny tiny tiny town in Umbria called Castelluccio simply can't produce enough lentils for the world's demand. That said, these lentils are the same variety, but we cannot attest to their exact origin.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Wine & Food of the Giro 2017 Stage 9: A Crash and a Climb

Montenero di Bisaccia – Blockhaus, 149 km

Where are we? Abruzzo
Montenero di Bisaccia: Per the Giro site it is a quiet village in the province of Campobasso, lying about 273 metres above sea-level, in the Molise hills that gently descend towards the sea. The “black” Mountain covered in thick woods was originally a fortress surrounded by imposing walls with 10 tall towers dominating the surroundings, of which only two ancient gates remain: Porta Nuova and Porta Mancina. Marina di Montenero di Bisaccia, better known as “Costa Verde”, has five kilometres of clean waters, beaches, a marina with over 400 boat moorings, a seafront promenade and ample accomodation facilities.

From the Giro site: FOOD Ventricina di Montenero (pork sausage), f’ssrat (fried pork), cavatelli alla ventricina (fresh pasta with meat sauce), cill (pastries with an almond and cooked must filling), calgionetti (pastries with a must and chickpea flour filling).
WINE: Doc Tintilia (red and rosé) 

Blockhaus is one of the highest peaks in Abruzzo and is part of the Majella range. The word Blockhaus is German and can be traced back to the Habsburg domination in the south. It means “rock house” and is the name given to the little military forts built by the Italian army as outposts to combat the brigantry that was rife in some areas in the south of the country following the Unity of Italy.
The Giro site lists no food or wine.

The stage: Well, now. Here we have a preview of the climbing to come later in this Giro.  The break of the day:

Movistar to the front behind. Maybe Quintana has hopes of the stage? 

Forty kilometers to go and 1:30 to the break. Just over twenty kilometers and they were swallowed up.

Just under fifteen kilometers to go and a big crash, with most of the Sky team. It looked like a rider hit the motorbike on the side of the road and like dominoes they went down. Geraint Thomas looked hurt, but did get back on his bike. Landa also struggling. Nine kilometers to go and Thomas was 2:40 behind the leaders group. 

Ahead, with 8.8 kilometers to go and Jungels was dropping.  Movistar still at the front. The lead group was getting very small, very quickly. Just over seven kilometers to go and it was down to nine. And there went Quintana! Following him: Nibali and Pinot. Quintana would continue to attack. They countered a bit, but he would get a gap. Three kilometers to go and he had 18 seconds over Nibali, with Pinot in between. Passing Nibali,  Dumoulin and Mollema. 

One kilometer to go and Nibali was about a minute back. Quintana would take the stage. Now to watch the others come one by one or two by two across the line. Alas, Thomas. Five minutes down on the stage.



Wine: Vini Rabasco Vino Rosso Cancelli 2015
From Biondivino
From the importer:  
The 3.5 hectare estate of Iole Rabasco is located in the village of Pianella, province of Pescara, in the heart of Abruzzo.  The area offers a unique set of meso and micro climates particular to this north-central corner of Abruzzo; the Adriatic is some 40 kilometers away while the base of Gran Sasso flanks the western edge of the Rabasco property.  Iole benefits from inheriting her family’s small vineyard and olive grove both of which are soils that have never been treated with chemicals. 
The vines across the property, almost all montepulciano with a couple rows of trebbiano, are also quite old, 40 years average and rest at some 450 meters above sea level.  Soils are calcareous clay mixed with alluvial sediment and fossil remains.  Vines are trained in the traditional tendone style pergola, all worked by hand.  Yields are kept low but not excessively low as Iole prefers her wines with more acidity and freshness than power and extract.

Tasting notes: Cherry and some funk. 

Food: Caciocavallo cheese:  From The history of Caciocavallo goes back to 500 BC when Hippocrates first mentioned the cleverness of the Greeks in making it. Cheeses similar to Caciocavallo are common all over the Balkans and Southern Italy. In fact, Ragusano DOP from Sicily had to drop the name Caciocavallo Ragusano to achieve the DOP label.