Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wines of the Tour Stage 11: Gallopin Again and Bornard Tant-Mieux Pétillant Naturel Rosé

Where are we: Besançon to Oyonnax
Le Tour link:

Our start town, Besançon, is the capital and principal city of the Franche-Comté region in eastern France. How about a poem for today's trivia?
In the poem This century was two years old (Les Feuilles d'automne; literally – "The Leaves of Autumn"), Victor Hugo evokes his birth in Besançon:

This century was two years old. Rome was replacing Sparta;
Already Napoleon was emerging from under Bonaparte.
And already the First Consul's tight mask
Had been split in several places by the Emperor's brow.
It was then that in Besançon, that old Spanish town,
Cast like a seed into the flying wind,
A child was born of mixed blood—Breton and Lorraine --
Pallid, blind and mute,...
That child, whom Life was scratching from its book,
And who had not another day to live,
Was me.
Specialities : comté and cancoillotte cheese, cured meats, wines from Jura, coq au vin with wine and morels

Oyonnax is the second most populated commune in the Ain department in the Rhône-Alpes region in eastern France. Its residents are known as Oyonnaxiens. Oyonnax lies in a valley of the Jura Mountains in the far north of Ain.
Our trivia: During the 18th century, the town developed thanks to the production of wood and horn combs. By the end of the 19th century the production was industrialized, before another revolution arrived: the appearance of plastic. Oyonnax specialised then in the plastic industry, making all kind of products: glasses, garden furniture, toys, etc. Nowadays, Oyonnax is at the heart of the Plastics Valley, which was recognized in 2005 as a competitive pole for the plasturgy industry.

Specialities : pike quenelles with a Nantua sauce, Cerdon (sweet sparkling rose wine), comté cheese with unpasturised milk, sausages with red wine 

Le Tour preview: The stage after the first rest day. Does this herald the start of a new race? Perhaps... It depends on how things go. I expect it to be a very tight race, with the big favourites within three minutes of each other. Not enough to think the race is done and dusted, but still a sizeable margin in the general classification. This is why we avoided widening the gaps with a time trial, for example, and we sought instead to create undulating stages to promote attacks. This stage could be one for the likes of Peter Sagan.

The race:  The sun is out and sure enough, a break to start the day, this time featuring Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling), Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis), and Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Séché Environnement). 

 Chasing behind were Cannondale, working for Sagan and Orica GreenEdge, working for Gerrans and they were chasing hard. Not an easy day for the bunch at all. Not starting today, by the way, Fabian Cancellara, who has gone home to prep for the rest of his season. 

Behind, Andrew Talansky was losing contact with the peloton. Would he make it through the stage? It was not looking likely. 

More Talansky. He had been on camera for what felt like hours. Even if he could make it to the stage end, would he make the time cut?

Ahead, Garmin was pushing the pace at the front of the peloton. Ouch. Talansky finally stopped at the side of the road and it looked like he would abandon. But rather shockingly, he got back on and resumed riding. I find it hard to believe that they let him continue. Apparently up front, with 47.7 kilometers to go. Elmiger was solo with Lemoine chasing. Not that American television viewers would know. 

Nicolas Roche than attacked from that group, gaining a small solo lead. Hey, Tony Martin on the front. I think we may have seen that before. Next on attack, Gallopin. Quite a descent there as the reduced group chased Gallopin. Sagan remained well positioned. And with the chasers behind, Gallopin was able to take his second stage win.

Far behind, Talansky made it it before the time cut.

Stage: Tony Gallopin

Yellow: Vncenzo Nibali


Wine:  Bornard Tant-Mieux Pétillant Naturel Rosé NV
from Frankly Wines
From the importer, Savio Soares Selections:
Philippe Bornard lives in the village of Pupillin near Arbois and the Swiss border. His vineyards were inherited from his father, who previously sold only to co-ops. It was Pierre Overnoy, another Arbois winemaker, who eventually convinced Philippe to begin to make his own wine, and now, with over 27 years of experience under his belt, he is working with nearly 6 hectares of 30-year old vines, and farms exclusively biodynamically (He will be officially certified from 2012 on). The grapes are grown at high altitudes, on limestone and clay soils, allowing a slow ripening. Typically wine begins a long, slow maceration in fiberglass, and is then moved to large older oak barrels for maturation, which lasts about one year. Wines are of two appellations: Côtes du Jura and Arbois-Pupillin, and reflect beautifully the terroir of the Jura. You’ll agree from the first sip, we’re sure.

Philippe picks the Ploussard for “Tant Mieux” at the beginning of the harvest season, when the grape still has the potential to create a wine with sufficient acidity. Macération lasts about 5 days in a stainless steel tank, after which the grapes are pressed. Fermentation begins in a stainless steel, temperature-controlled tank, and the wine is bottled as soon as it has reached the desired density. Bottles are then placed on a riddling rack and turned daily for about one week before being disgorged. This wine is fresh and bright with low alcohol and a tongue-tingling mousseux.

I say: Drinking from the Jura today. Why not a pink, sparkling magnum? 100% Ploussard, made as a Pétillant Naturel, meaning that fermentation was finished in the bottle without the addition of sugar. Lots of strawberries here, but also acidity and peppers. Another one of those quickly emptied bottle wines. 

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