Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Sunny Day in Beaujolais: Wines of the Tour Stage 12: Kristoff & Maison B Perraud Moulin a Vent

Where are we: Bourg-en-Bresse / Saint-Étienne 
Le Tour link:

Bourg-en-Bresse is located at the western base of the Jura mountains, on the left bank of the Reyssouze, a tributary of the Saône. It lies 70 kilometers (43 mi) northeast of Lyon and at 50 kilometers (31 mi) of Lons-le-Saunier.
My town trivia of the day is about chicken: In fact, the only chicken in the world to be protected, like a famous wine, by an Apellation d'Origine Controlée (AOC). "The first recorded mention of the bird was in 1591, when the good citizens of Bourg-en-Bresse, midway between Lyon and Geneva and not far from the Swiss border, presented the Marquis of Treffort with two dozen of the birds in grateful recognition of his bravery in driving off an army of marauding Savoyard soldiers. Its reputation was assured by 1825, when one of the world's first and greatest foodies, the 19th-century epicure and gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, described the bird as "the queen of chickens, and the chicken of kings".
Specialities : Bresse chicken (AOC), Giraudet's quenelles, bleu de Bresse cheese, émaux bressans (jewels)

Saint-Étienne  Michelin tells me that "Often considered to be an industrial city polluted by its coal mining industry, Saint Étienne provides a good example of successful redevelopment with its whitewashed façades, parks and attractive squares. Without turning its back on its past, the city now aims to become an important centre for design. It is keeping alive the tradition of innovation and creation, started in the 19C by the large industrial companies. The most important of which was the Manufacture des Armes (arms factory)."
Specialities : Weiss chocolates, Franck Deville macaroons

Le Tour preview: A second transition stage which will come down to a tug-of-war between breakaway specialists and the sprinters. It is worth noting that, although this Tour de France will have lots of short, bumpy stages, it has also got something for the green jersey contenders. They will have at least eight opportunities to duke it out, including this stage from Bourg-en-Bresse to the Beaujolais hills in Saint-Étienne. Who will triumph in the old capital of cycling? Looking back on last year's Tour, Kittel has the edge, but I and others think Cavendish can still go very fast. He raced too much in 2013, but he has been smart enough not to repeat the same mistake this season.

The race: As I mentined earlier, those Tour preview posts are written months before the race, but I keep them here to provide a sense of what they had in mind. Taking into account what has happened in the race so far (We miss you Cav) the question of the day is whether or not Sagan can win the stage or not. He has had a great race by many standards, but has yet to win a stage.

Not starting today: Andrew Talansky. They are off and in a hurry before tv coverage starts, covering 45.9km in the first hour! Our break of the day Sebastian Langeveld, Gregory Rast, Simon Clarke, Florian Vachon  and David de la Cruz. With 125 kilometers to go of 185.5 today, they had a gap of 3:55. 
On a stage like today, the Podium Cafe talk has turned to natural science, inspired by the Tour's Biodiversity of the Day, the fire salamander. In other news, Beaujolais looked gorgeous on this very sunny day. 

Crash in the breakaway and de la Cruz went down very hard. Langeveld went down as well, but was soon back up racing as de la Cruz remained on the ground. Indeed, he would abandon the race. 

Not only is it sunny, but it is apparently very warm on the road today as there are reports of melting tarmac. 

Seventy five kilometers to go and the gap was just over three minutes and dropping. It looked clearly that they would be caught, but they would continue to ride hard.

And then there were two: dropped from the break, Vachon and Rast. 
Field art:

Ahead, word of a road melt. Off the front of the peloton, two EuropCar riders,
Gautier and Quemeneur. Ahead an attack by Simon Clarke. Along the road, more tractor art. With 22.5 kilometers to go, Clarke had 19" on Gautier and Quemeneur and 1'13" on the peloton. Soon, they joined together and there were three leading the race. Under ten kilometers to go and a surprising number of the sprinters were still in the main group. With just under eight kilometers to go Clarke and Gautier were still  ahead with a 15” gap. Five kilometers to go and they were back all together.

Crash including Chavanel and Greipel. Greipel was angry and yelled at Chava as they were back up and riding.
Ahead, time for a sprint and there was Tony Martin again at the front.Lots of dodgy moves, but in the end it was Kristoff. Sagan comes second, just missing out again.

Stage: Alexander Kristoff 

Yellow: Vincenzo Nibali

Wine: Maison B Perraud   
Moulin a Vent 2012  

From Frankly Wines 

From the producer (With some help from Google translate):

The Estate "The Hills of Molière" Huadu at Vauxrenard, lays on a surface area of 8.5 hectares and has 3 callings:
- Beaujolais
- Beaujolais Village
- Windmill

10 years ago, we gave up a portion of the weed-kiling in order to give life back to the earth and the undergrounds of our vines, to bring back to Each parcel of land Its characteristic taste from the earth. A vine in harmony with its environment will produce a grape flavored more and more full Which would bring back the meaning of its "millesime". We promote in this way in the dissemination and the working of the ground. The products we use to fight against the vine Illnesses are Agreed by the biological culture.

We-have committed a conversion: 6 hectares are certified biological since 2002, and the rest of the operation is in a way of retraining. The biological culture, It's above all a state of mind, a philosophy. It's a calling into question have Each moment. Our wine Gives us more and more proof Each year a wine with character leaving to express the earth and soul icts in wine making procedure. Consummating "Bio" today, is taking part, a little, in the protection of our environment. "The matter is nothing, what counts is the gesture that made" ... (Goethe)

I say: Oh Beaujolais my friend, so glad you could be a Tour wine this year. In this case with a new producer to me. 
Beaujolais is gamay and this is a lovely version. Fruit and earth. Very easy to drink, but not light. It would pair nicely with a roasted Bresse chicken (see above).

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