Friday, July 17, 2015

Giro v.2015

As we head ever so quickly to this blog's goal of drinking our way through 2001 different bottles of wine, there are few events that I've added bottles from where the pace is as fast as it is at the annual Giro di Burnaby. The race is part of BC Superweek - a series of 8 races over 9 days throughout the Lower Mainland that has established itself as one of the premier stops on the North American cycling circuit. I'm especially lucky in the I happen to be able to see the Start/Finish Line from my desk at work - not to mention that our office has a rooftop deck that provides the perfect opportunity to get a bird's eye view of the race while being able to quaff back wine and beer and nibble away on BBQ.

I get a particular kick out of the fact that the V.I.P. section for the race is located across the street - on ground level - and they don't get half the overall view or nourishment during the race.

Surprisingly enough, I get nabbed to come up with the choices of wine for the race party. We regularly have two reds, two whites and two rosés but not even I can get through all of them and add them to The List. The Giro is, after all, held on a Thursday night - with work looming next morning - and there's that little thing about driving home once the winner has crossed the finish line.

1957.  2014 L'Ostal Cazes Rosé (Pays d'Oc IGP - France)

I knew nothing about this wine or winery when choosing the wines but I took a gamble on a BC government liquor store clerk's recommendation. She saw I was looking at the Rosé section and she advised me that this was a new wine that they'd brought in and that it was generating all sorts of positive response. I have to say that relying on a tip can obviously pay off because this was clearly a favourite for the warm summer's evening.

Domaine L'Ostal Cazes was only established in 2002; however, it has some rather storied pedigree behind it. Jean-Michel Cazes is the owner of Château Lynch-Bages - one of the Classed Growths of the Médoc in Bordeaux - and he was looking for an opportunity in the Languedoc region of the south of France. L'Ostal Cazes if the result and their Rosé is a 50/50 Grenache/Syrah blend that hits all the right notes of fruit, acidity and subtlety for watching the world race by.

1958.  2011 Masi Grandarella (Refosco Delle Venezie IGT - Italy)

The Giro's second wine for The List is - shall we say - a tad more substantial. Masi's Grandarella is a "Supervenetian" that is (according to the winery's website) a modern interpretation of Masi's specialty: the ancient technique of Appassimento." Appassimento is unique to the Valpolicella region, found close to Venice, and is the technique of drying or raisinating the grapes before pressing them so that the flavours of the resulting juice and wines are intensified.

The region's Amarones are the most famous of wines made in this tradition; however, regional regulations dictate the grapes that must be used in the production of Amarone and the variety used in this wine isn't one of them. Masi's Grandarella is made entirely from Refosco grapes - an old variety from the region that has seen a bit of a resurgence in popularity and attention in the last couple of decades. It's known to lend itself to big, powerful wines and the addition of the appassimento process only serves to accentuate that power in this wine.

It only seemed fitting to have a French and an Italian wine amongst the evening's choices. After all, who isn't aware of the French and the Italians love of bike racing and the evening can't get much more Italian in tone when the race is called the Giro - after the Giro d'Italia.

The 2001st bottle will have been long finished by the time next's year's Giro di Burnaby rolls around, but you know I'll still be there cheering on the races - glass in hand.

1 comment:

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