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.

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