Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wines of the Tour Stage 16: GC Shuffles After the Rest Day, Mick Rogers and Aubunite La Sorga

Where are we:
Carcassonne / Bagnères-de-Luchon  
Le Tour link:http://www.letour.com/le-tour/2014/us/stage-16.html

From the tourist website:
The Legend of Dame Carcas
The Saracen occupation inspired medieval writers to create one of our most famous legends, with of course Charlemagne as the hero!

The emperor set siege to Carcassonne. The king of the Saracens, BALLAK, was killed and it was then that his wife, "Dame Carcass", decided to take action.
The siege had already been lasting for 5 years and famine was taking its toll on the last defenders. Behind the walls Dame Carcass kept watch alone; she set up straw effigies; she fired off crossbows at the besieging army to give the impression that many defenders remained.

In the city, there remained just one small pig and one measure of wheat to feed the population. So Dame Carcass force-fed her pig with the rest of the wheat and hurled it over the walls. The pig burst open on hitting the ground and from its torn belly poured a veritable flood of good grain.
Charlemagne immediately abandoned the pointless siege: there was clearly so much grain in Carcassonne that they even fed their pigs on it!
Before the large army disappeared, Dame Carcass called on Charlemagne to make peace.
She had the trumpets sound (“Carcass sonne..” ) The Emperor retraced his steps to receive her allegiance!
Specialites : Club Prosper Montagné, cooking competition, cassoulet, wines from Aude (Minervois, Cabardès, Corbières, Malepère)

From the tourist webiste: Bagnères de Luchon, usually called Luchon, is a thermal town since the Antiquity. The first Baths were built during the Roman periode, but with the fall of the Roman Empire, they were forgotten and were no longer used excepted by the local population. Over the years, the Baths have expanded and are now composed of 3 buildings. Luchon is specialized in respiratory and rheumatism cares, but was able to expand its offerings and now offers courses of smoking cessation, “cures freedom”, care against low back pain and fibromyalgia plus an important fitness center. At 1800 meters high, Superbagnères overhangs Luchon. It is the first ski resort created in the Pyrenees, the second in France after Chamonix. At first, it was connected to Luchon by a small train rack, whose activity ceased in 1966 after construction of the road. Since 1993, it is possible to get up to Superbagnères by taking the gondola lift. 

Specialities : pétéram (a dish prepared from sheep tripe) pistache (mutton based cassoulet), gâteau à la broche (cake cooked on a spit), “Dardenne” chocolates, Mineral water from Luchon, organic Oô trout, Pyrenean soap factory

Le Tour preview: The longest stage of the 2014 Tour comes right up the second rest day. With 237.5 km on the menu and the Port de Balès as a dessert, the riders will spend about six hours on the saddle.
The last few years have shown that riders who make it to the top with a margin of 30 to 40 seconds can rest assured of keeping it until the finish and taking the win in Bagnères-de-Luchon. The odds are on the attackers' side, thus. Sure, this does not look like the toughest stage in the Tour, but remember that this is where Andy Schleck lost the yellow jersey due to a mechanical in 2010.

The race:  Longest day of the race, expect a breakaway. Not starting this morning: Simon Yates and Rui Costa. Indeed our group of the morning consists of Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega pHarma-QuickStep), Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol), Greg van Avermaet (BMC), Jon Izagirre (Movistar), Jose Serpa (Lampre-Merida), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge), Tom Jelte Slagter (Garmin-Sharp), Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge), Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale), Kevin Reza (Europcar), Samuel Dumoulin (AG2R-La Mondiale), Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne Séché Environment), Vasil Kiryienka (Sky), Florian Vachon (Bretagne Séché Environment), Bernard Eisel (Sky), Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling). Bernie! 

With just under 100 kilometers to go, their gap was at eight minutes. Up it went, to about eleven minutes with 66 kilometers to go. Kwiatkowski had ridden himself into virtual 7th. 

Cav is at the race today:

Back on the road, 38.5 kilometers to go and the gap was 12’39”. It looked like a winner from the break was likely. But would the gc riders attack each other behind or were they waiting for tomorrow? With Sky's difficult Tour, there has been little of Bernie Eisel at the front. But there he was today, leading the break. Of course, as it went up, he was dropped. He was soon replaced at the front by his teammate Kiryienka. 

Lots of attacks came from within that shrinking breakaway group. The riders remaining: Serpa, Rogers, Van Avermaet, Kiriyenka, Voeckler and Gautier. Cyril Gautier attacks, with just Rogers, Serpa and Voeckler left. B
ehind, lots of dropped riders as well in the main peloton. We had reached the riders all over the mountain point of the stage.

 Dropped from the yellow jersey group: Tejay van Garderen. Also, Bardet, as Pinot attacked. 

Ahead Kiriyenka caught Gauthier, Serpa, Rogers and Voeckler were not far ahead.

Ahead, Mick Rogers was at the front of the break, using a small descending gap to time trial clear of Gautier. And he would make it with plenty of time to celebrate. 

In together behind, Nibali, Valverde, Péraud and Pinot. Tejay van Garderen was losing lost of time. Big changes on gc today. 

Stage: Mick Rogers

Yellow: Vincenzo Nibali

Wine: 2012 Aubunite La Sorga 
From Selection Massale: Now this has to be one of the weirdest wines we've ever carried.

Just look at the label. Seriously. An rose wine with...that label.

It's supposedly rose made from Aubun (a widely planted but rarely taken serious Southern French variety) and Carignan within the Faugeres AOC.
We say supposedly a rose, because to us, it drinks like a perfect lighter red.
Aubun is a very late ripening grape that has very little alcohol no matter what you do with (excepting bags and bags of sugar), even though it's usually harvested in Mid-November.

Last year, the blend was made into a darker red, with about 11% alcohol and it was a big hit. This year, it comes as a light, fragrant, natural beauty, pale red with the same 11% alcohol.
If you've had been following Antony's work so far, you know what to expect, a polarizing wine.  Some of you love it and can't stop bugging us for more, some will wonder what the hell we're doing.  We can live with that, it's that kind of wine.  For those of you who haven't, this is a light, funky, glou-glou wine,definitely more on the natural side, it's bright and spicy, vibrant, alive. meant for everyday drinking.

I say: Pink, full, some residual sugar. Cherries. Minimal bubbles. Tannic.  More fruit as it warms up. Kind of cidery. Paired well with mu shoo pork.

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