Saturday, May 27, 2017

Wine of the Giro 2017 Stage 20

Pordenone – Asiago, 190 km

Where are we?

Pordenone: tells me that:
its old city center is well-preserved, and complete an impressive Palazzo Comunale and clock tower, a Gothic loggia and a Cathedral bearing a superb bell tower and richly-frescoed interior.
  Corso Vittorio Emanuele II is the city's main thoroughfare, and it is lined with handsome historical buildings, such as Palazzo Mantica-Cattaneo and Palazzo Ricchieri; Palazzo Ricchieri is the site of the Civic Museum of Art, with its collection of precious paintings and wooden sculptures.

From the Giro site:
FOOD: Zuf (pumpkin soup), pitina sausage with cornmeal stock, polenta dumplings with cheese, musèt e brovada (cotechino with sour turnips), pork chops with Savoy cabbage, Biscotto Pordenone (traditional local cookies).
WINE: Doc Friuli Grave (white and red), Doc Lison-Pramaggiore (white and red), Prosecco Doc.

Asiago: The local tourist site tells me
Gabriele d'Annunzio, the famous Italian poet, defined the town of Asiago as "the smallest and brightest town of Italy", a slogan true in all times.

The town of Asiago is the main centre of the largest Plateau in Italy, which represents a wide green plain in the heart of the Veneto mountains that reach up to 2,350 metres above sea level. The other seven towns in the Plateau are: Conco, Enego, Foza, Gallio, Lusiana, Roana and Rotzo.

The city centre is located at 1,001 meters above sea level. Completely rebuilt after the First World War, the city is famous for its architectural beauty, bright streets and large squares and is a remarkable tourist site among the other towns.

Food: Asiago cheese (Slowfood heritage), patate di Rotzo (potatoes), sedano di Rubbio (celery), tarassaco di Conco (dandelions), cold cuts, honey and fruit preserves.
Doc Breganze (red and white, from Marzemino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot nero grape varieties, Chardonnay, Pinot bianco and Pinot grigio, Torcolato, Sauvignon), Garganega.

The stage:
With the race so close for the top riders, there should be some drama today. Four riders within one minute should create fireworks. The profile:

The break of the day:

As they climb Monte Grappa, the group was shrinking rapidly, as Katusha pushed the pace. Eighty kilometers and the group was down to around thirty five. Seventy six kilometers to go and Zakarin to the front, time to blow the group apart? The main favorites followed. Yates and Mollema gone, but the other big names were together. 

 The chase group was coming close behind and they would ride together.

It was all setting up for attacks on the final climb.  

 Ahead, Teuns went alone.

Twenty three kilometers to go and an attack by Nibali. A preview of things to come? He would be caught, but gaps would start to appear. Indeed the attacks would keep coming. Twenty one kilometers to go and Nibali and Quintana were together. 

The riders behind would bridge to Nibali and Quintana. 

Keep in mind that Pozzovivo and Zakarin are still ahead.

As things flatten out:

The two groups in front would come together: Zakarin, Pozzovivo, Nibali, Quintana and Pinot. Their gap would shrink rapidly, down to twelve seconds with seven kilometers to go. Five kilometers and only seven seconds. 
1.5 to go and the gap was twenty seconds.
Pinot with the stage win. Well, now, tomorrow should be fun.

Wine: Quintarelli Bianco Secco Ca'del Merlo 2015
From Biondivino 
From the importer:  
Blend: Garganega, Trebbiano Toscano, Sauvignon Bianco, Chardonnay, Saorin
It is impossible to speak about Quintarelli without superlatives. The name itself stands for so much: the family, the wines, a style, a tradition, a way of doing things. After all the time, effort, patience, and care that go into the making of a bottle of Quintarelli, it truly does mean so much more than wine. Giuseppe, fondly known as “Bepi” to those closest to him, was a perfectionist in every way. From the beautiful handwritten labels, to the best possible quality cork, to the exquisite wine in the bottles, the Quintarelli name is a stamp of authenticity and the ultimate indication of an artisanal, handmade, uncompromising wine of the highest quality.

Nothing is ever hurried at Quintarelli. The wines take their time and are given the time they need. In the still, quiet calm of the family cellars above the town of Negrar, along the winding via del Cerè, deep in the Valpolicella zone, the wine from the family’s hillside vineyards ages patiently and gracefully in large casks until it is ready. Every release is a masterpiece, a testament to time, tradition, skill, and passion, the creations of a master artisan. You can’t really compare these wines to any other in the region, or anywhere else in the world. They really are in a class and a category all their own. 

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