Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Wines of the Tour de France Stage 10: Luneau Papin 1999 L d'Or Muscadet & Kittel


193km Saint-Gildas-des-Bois to Saint-Malo

From LeTour: Jean François Pescheux's view

Symbolic moments:  "After a plane transfer and a rest day at Saint-Nazaire, the Tour heads into Western France once again for a magnificent finish beneath Saint-Malo's ramparts. It's fair to say that this is a stage designed with tradition in mind, in as much as it will enable us to honour the memory of Louison Bobet and pay tribute to Bernard Hinault. This 100th edition of the Tour de France will feature another great symbol of national life: for the first time, the riders will pass through the heart of the Coëtquidan military camp, where the elite cadets from the Saint-Cyr military school will line up in their splendid uniforms to honour them. The moment will provide some unforgettable, moving and typically French images. Then we will probably see the sprinters perform..."

Greghenderson1 1:11am via Twitter for Android
Can't wait to watch the tdf when i get home to actually see what has been happening up the road in the mountains.

Indeed, a rough day Sunday for the grupetto, but to my relief, they made it in. First rest day of the race complete. Nice of Orica-GreenEdge to provide us with something to watch
 As a reward, today they have what looks to be a sprint stage. My Podium Cafe Stage Predictor picks of the day: Cavendish, Sagan, Greipel and Boassan-Hagen. A couple of things to look for today: Will there be echelons? As we saw last week, the possibility can make a sprint stage much more exciting. Second, if the GC guys are saving their legs for the time trial tomorrow, will the break not be caught?

The break of the day went out early with Jerome Cousin (Team Europcar), Juan Jose Oroz (Euskaltel), Luis Mate (Cofidis), Lieuwe Westra (Vacansolile) and Julien Simon (Sojasun). 35 kilometers into 197, they had a gap of almost 5 minutes.  
opqscyclingteam 5:24am via Janetter
Gap drops a little to 4'18" after 59 km. Sprint teams and Team Sky still leading the bunch #TDF
Gap keeps dropping, 3'53" after 74,4 km #TDF

OPQS, of course, as Mark Cavendish's team, would like the gap to continue to drop. Not quickly enough for an early catch and second escape, but quickly enough that they can get their lead out train in place with time to set up the sprint. 

Meanwhile, Sky, or at least the person handling their twitter feed seems a bit bored:
TeamSky 5:57am via Web
Not much to report from the #TDF at the moment... Team Sky are keeping tempo on the front and holding the 5-man break at 4:07. 118km to go

Note: Sky would undoubtedly like it to be a very boring stage today, in hopes of having Froome as fresh as possible for tomorrow's time trial. As I watch the Sky Team at the front of the peloton, I have to say it yet again: Dear Sky: I still miss Bernie Eisel.

Intermediate sprint: yet again, Greipel. 
Greipel "wins" yet another intermediate sprint. Sagan and Cavendish after him. Kittel didn't take part. Waits for the final sprint. #Tdf

Sixty six kilometers to go and the roads are narrowing. The break still have a gap, but it is down to 2:20. Ahead, Westra attacks his breakaway mates, but is caught.
50km to go and the five-man break have 2:32 with the sprint teams now massing at the front of the bunch. #TDF

Brittany, by the way, is looking very beautiful today: blue skies, castles, chateaus and cheering crowds. Here at home, K made a blueberry buckle! Stage highlight so far.
_Gavia_ 7:55am via Tweetbot for Mac
It’s 41km to go, gap to the break is 2.29. Lots of bike race left. And some cool castles.

opqscyclingteam 8:11am via TweetDeck
#TDF: 30.3km to go, 1'10" gap.

That gap now is dropping quickly, as the riders approach the coast. Wind to come? We have reached the point in the race where things are very nervous. Twenty kilometers to go, gap around thirty seconds. A couple of small crashes in the peloton, victims include Talansky and Flecha. Everyone back up riding, though it will be hard for them to get back on.
#TDF: Argos-Shimano on the left, Garmin-Sharp on the front to the right with #OPQS and Lotto-Belisol behind. 11.1km to go, 16" gap.

mrconde 8:41am via Web
Greipel with 4 riders in front of him. Kittel with 5 and Cavendish with 6! 7 km to go. #tdf

The breakaway continue to dangle, with six kilometers to go they still have a few seconds. But then came the catch. 
#TDF: ORICA-GreenEDGE on the front in the middle, #OPQS in front of Lotto-Belisol on the left, Saxo-Tinkoff on the right.

Kittel! That was certainly an interesting finish.

#TDF: provisional results show Greipel 2nd, Cavendish 3rd, Sagan 4th, Bonnet 5th

A sprint to watch and review. One of the Argos-Shimano riders, looked like big Tom Veelers, crashed after contact with Cavendish

That was some rubbing in the sprint. Sagan looked to put a shoulder into someone & then Cav checked someone as well

Let the twitter fire begin.

Stage: Marcel Kittel
Yellow: Chris Froome

Wine:  Luneau Papin 1999 L d'Or Muscadet 
from FranklyWines  $33

From the importer

Pierre et Monique Luneau-Papin head this 50-hectare estate in Le Landreau, in the heart of Muscadet country, where small hamlets dot a landscape of vineyards on low hills. Their estate, also known as Domaine Pierre de la Grange, has been in existence since the early 18th century when it was already planted with Melon de Bourgogne, the Muscadet varietal. Pierre and Monique are the eighth generation of winemakers in the family. Pierre is a genial, low-key, distracted professor type. He is technically retired and has passed the torch to his son Pierre-Marie (who is officially heading the estate as of the 2011 vintage), but still very active in everyday aspects of cellar and vine work. His wife Monique, lively, energetic and equally genial, is the business manager.

Muscadet is an area where, unfortunately, a lot of undistinguished bulk wine is produced. Because of the size of their estate, and of the privileged terroir of the villages of Le Landreau, Vallet and La Chapelle Heulin, the Luneau family has opted for producing smaller cuvées from their several plots, which are always vinified separately so as to reflect their terroir’s particular character. The soil is mainly micaschist and gneiss, but some plots are a mix of silica, volcanic rocks and schist. The estate has a high proportion of old vines, 40 years old on average, up to 65 years of age.

The harvest is done by hand -also a rarity in the region- to avoid any oxidation before pressing. There is an immediate light débourbage (separation of juice from gross lees), then a 4-week fermentation at 68 degrees, followed by 6 months of aging in stainless-steel vats on fine lees. This is the classic Muscadet-sur-lie process, where the wine is kept on its lees, with a fair amount of CO2 as protection, until bottling in the spring following the harvest. The only modern technique used here is macération pelliculaire (maceration of lightly crushed berries before pressing), which varies in proportion according to the cuvées.

Some thoughts from Dr Vino (Tyler Colman) on aged Muscadet. Plus some from Eric Asimov in the New York Times.

I say: Pineapple, honey and lemon, with plenty of minerality and acid remaining. Elegant. This is a joy to drink.  

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