Saturday, July 20, 2013

Wines of the Tour de France Stage 20: Domaine Dupasquier Mondeuse & Quintana
125km Annecy to Le Semnoz

From LeTour: Jean François Pescheux's view

A rider from the top rank: "There is one last chance of glory? This was what we wanted to offer in putting together this stage, which is going to surprise many. It's only 125km, but what a parcours! There is barely any chance to rest. The riders will have to be on their mettle from the start to the finish at the "nearly new" summit of Semnoz. Although the yellow jersey may be safe, the podium places could well be decided on this climb, which measures 10.7km in length with an average gradient of 8.5%. We could end up with the same winner we had on Alpe-d'Huez... Rodríguez, for example. Or Froome? Or Contador. Whoever it is, it will be a rider from the top rank who will finish things off in style."

More tired legs today after yesterday's stage. Barring any accidents, Chris Froome should be the winner of the Tour de France as they ride into Paris tomorrow. But the other podium spots are still close, so we should see some attacks from the men behind to secure or gain podium spots. Rodriguez in fift h place is only 47 seconds behind Contador in second!, with Quintana and Kreuziger in between.

Plus Rolland will make every possible effort to gain King of the Mountain points. He has no gc hopes, so the polka dot jersey means much more to him than time. That competition is also oh so close: Froome 104. Rolland 103, Nieve 98, Quintana 97 and Riblon 93.
Meanwhile, as I have said all week, spare a thought for the grupetto. Their job is simply to survive the climbs today, so they can sprint tomorrow in Paris.
MarkCavendish 1:40am via Twitter for iPhone
How can Paris, with just 125km today, seem so far away....?
PhilippeGilbert 3:05am via Twitter for iPhone
Annecy-annecy. Aso can I wait here? I promise to finish in the last group!
My Podium Cafe Stage Predictor Picks of the day: Rodriguez, Quintana, Valverde and Contador.

Off they go in the bright sunshine and Rolland attacks immediately. He is followed by Jens!, quickly joined by Burghardt and Flecha. Next to go, Brutt, Gautier, Riblon, Clarke, Anton and Astarloza. The start of our break of the day, or a false alarm? 
Rolland gets what he wants from the move, taking the points at the top of the first climb and moving into first in the King of the Mountain/Polka-dot jersey competition. But there are more hills to climb.
Indeed, the climbs of the day:
Km 12.5 - Côte du Puget5.4 kilometre-long climb at 5.9% - category 2
Km 17.5 - Col de Leschaux3.6 kilometre-long climb at 6.1% - category 3
Km 43.0 - Côte d'Aillon-le-Vieux6 kilometre-long climb at 4% - category 3
Km 51.0 - Col des Prés (1 142 m)3.4 kilometre-long climb at 6.9% - category 3
Km 78.5 - Mont Revard15.9 kilometre-long climb at 5.6% - category 1
Km 125.0 - Annecy-Semnoz10.7 kilometre-long climb at 8.5% - category H

With just over 109 kilometers to go, the two lead groups merge. The nine riders in the lead have a 1:27 gap on the peloton, with Movistar leading the chase. 96 kilometers to go and the gap is stable. Short leash for the break today. 
85 kilometers to go and Rolland grabs a few more kom points. The gap to the peloton is around one minute. 75 kilometers to go and still around a minute advantage for the breakaway group. 
Pretty shady move by Rolland to grab a few more points ahead of Anton on the climb. Will they relegate a Frenchman so close to the polka dot jersey? 
63 kilometers to go and Jens! attacks and splits the break. Say it with the announcers "Shut up legs" 60 kilometers left and he is in the lead alone with 1:30 over the peloton. There is no response from that group as Tejay and Gilbert attack. Gilbert has really had an invisible Tour.

50 kilometers to go and Jens! is still out ahead. The Rolland/VanGarderen is two minutes back and the peloton three minutes behind Jens! 
At the top of the climb, 30 seconds for Jens! over Anton. 2 minutes back to the Rolland group. Rolland grabs some more points there, but will not know until after the stage to know if he has done enough to win the polka-dot jersey. Current standings in that competition:Rolland 119, Froome 104, Nieve 98, Riblon 98, Quintana 9. 50 points go to the first rider at the finish today.
Kreuziger  mechanical, but with 20 kilometers until the final climb, he should make it back to the bunch. 
Heading to the foot of the last climb with 23km to go, Jens! has about 1.45 on Burghardt, Gilbert, van Garderen, Rolland, Gautier, Riblon, Brutt , Clarke, Vuillermoz, and Anton with 3.11 on the yellow jersey group. 20 kilometers to go and the gaps are 1.21 and 2.54. Time for the Semnoz climb.
Here comes the Sky train! 
Sky has decimated the peloton as they reach the bottom of the climb. Very small main group now. 10 kilometers to go. Porte continues to ride behind Froome. Stage win for him today? Tejay and Rolland caught by that group. Jens! still ahead, up about 50 seconds. A very small yellow jersey group remains: Porte, Froome, Valverde, J-Rod, Contador, Quintana and Kreuziger. First to crack, Kreuziger. 8.5 kilometers to go and they catch Jens! J-Rod attacks, followed by Quintana. Froome follows, passes them but then they catch back on. Contador behind with Porte, 10 seconds back.
Continuing up the hill. Kreuziger catches Porte and Contador.  At the moment, Contador is losing his podium position.
inrng 8:03am via Web
5km to go and Rodriguez, Quintana and Froome lead. Valverde chasing behind at 38 seconds. Not far back Contador, Kreuziger + Porte

J-Rod continue to set the pace at the front. As expected, large gaps behind. Contador now 1:20 back. 4 kilometers to go. Behind, Talansky catches Contador. Really nice riding from him today. 2 kilometers to go and the top three finishers on the day will be our podium in Paris. Polka dots will go to either Quintana or Froome, depending upon which rider finishes first today. One kilometer to go and Froome attacks. Quintana latches on to him. There goes Quintana, as J-Rod catches Froome. Quintana! Second on the stage, plus the white jersey and polka dots!

Stage: Nairo Quintana

Yellow: Froome
2 Quintana
3 Rodriguez   

Wine: 2008 Domaine Dupasquier Mondeuse
From Selection Massale:
For serious winedrinkers one of the biggest problems has always been to find those increasingly rare bottles to set down in their their cellars without paying a fortune.  So many of the world's classic ageworthy wines have either been priced out of reach for most people or they have been so manipulated that they are no longer the same wines that brought them to such prominence in the first price.  People have started looking elsewhere, finding the best producers in Beaujolais, Muscadet, Touraine, or the Languedoc doing serious work and making wines that not many people would think of sitting on.  To that list we are adding David Dupasquier's Mondeuse.

Mondeuse is a Savoyarde grape that is little grown anymore and one that many people write off as "rustic" (generally my ears perk up at this word).  In 2000, after years of decline, there were estimated to be only 200 hectares grown.  Like many grapes in the region it is often overcropped, leading to a watery, simple wine where the rusticity becomes an ephithet, rather than a promise of character.  At its best, however, it produces a high acid, nicely tannic wine that still has a bit of that rusticity that set it apart.When we visited the domaine of David Dupasquier we found many of the things we were looking for in the Savoie.  Light mineral driven reds and whites, wonderfully rocks and water Rousette, structured Marestel, things read about in Madeline Kammann's terrific Savoie: The Land, People, and Food of the French Alps.  What we didn't expect was to be so leave so utterly in love by the back-vintages and current release of Mondeuse that David generously pulled out from his cellar near the end of our visit.  We opened several bottles from the early 2000s and late 1990s and they were all singing.  Dupasquier's Mondeuse blew us away because while they're real, slightly tannic, almost rustic in a sense, there's a sense of freshness, drinkability that isn't always found in other wines that have these characteristics.  The highlight was an aged 1997 that still had plenty of secondary aromas and quite a lot of life left in it.  It didn't merely taste like an old wine, it tasted like a wine that had plenty left to go.  Sadly we couldn't pry any of these out of David's hands, so instead we bought the recent vintages so when you open them in 2020 (or beyond) you'll know what we are talking about.  The current releases are drinking well right now due to their high acid content and fruit that gives them some freshness and the tannins are under control, not extracted like so many other wines that claim to age well.  The elevage on Dupasquier's Mondeuse is traditional Burgundian elevage, there is no carbonic done to soften the wine as many (some excellent) producers are doing right now. 

I say:  Another easy to drink wine from Selection Massale. Lots of acid on the finish to go with the flowers, plums, raspberries and meaty-savory notes. Day two: more savory with musky and earthy notes

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