Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wines of the Tour Stage 9: Tony Martin & Domaine Ostertag Riesling Vignobe D’e

Where are we:
Le Tour link:

The local tourism website tells me that "popular tradition attributes the founding of Gérardmer to Gérard de Châtenois, or Gérard d'Alsace, Duke of Lorraine from 1048 to 1070. He is said to have erected a tower on the banks of the Jamagne river (for hunting or defense purposes) around 1056, from whence comes the name of Gérardmer (from "meix" "field" in medieval dialect and Gérard - Gérard's garden."
Also: "If you want to get into the Vosges mountain traditions, you must do some tasting! Munster-Gerômé cheese, smoked meats, pine tree honey or Vosges sweets, as well as the "Petits Crus Vosgiens" local liqueurs."
Specialities: géromé (cheese), trout, anise bread, fir honey, fumé vosgien (baconand meat), tofailles and tarte aux brimbelles (blueberry pie).

The Market in Mulhouse looks excellent.
The Tour, meanwhile, recommends the automobile museum:
The biggest automobile museum in the world, the Cité de l'Automobile, is set in Mulhouse. And the same goes for the train museum, Cité du Train that offers one of the most impressive railway collections.
Specialities: The golden onion, the “Mulhousienne”, beer brewed with Mulhouse's water, la moricette (a type of Alsatian bread), little Christmas cakes called bredalas (More info here)

Le Tour preview: What will the state of affairs be like in Gérardmer? It takes a smart person to answer this question. We will be past Yorkshire's rolling landscapes, the cobblestones, La Mauselaine and, why not, splits near Verdun... Quite a few riders, including some big names, may have lost ground by now. Will they join forces with the breakaway specialists, who will no doubt be out in force? We have drawn a typical Vosges stage for them, with long rather than steep climbs. With the next day's fierce battle looming on the horizon, this stage should give us an interesting insight into where each man stands.

The race: Lots of pre-television action today, as it was another stage that many had marked in their race books as a possible breakaway win. With the start of coverage we had: Alessandro Di Marchi and Tony Martin in front with 38 seconds over Spilak, Montaguti, Van Avermaet, Rolland, Quémeneur, Navarro, Edet, and Machado. Behind them was a group of 19. That group contains  Rojas (Movistar), Rodriguez (Katusha), Paulinho (Tinkoff), Koren (Cannondale), Boom and Kruijswijk (Belkin), Chérel (AG2R), Dumoulin (Giant), Valls (Lampre), Ladagnous (FDJ), Gallopin (Lotto), Moinard (BMC), Gautier, Pichot, and Reza (Europcar), Cancellara (Trek), Meier (Orica), Chavanel (IAM), and Feillu and Bideau (Bretagne). The peloton was 1:58 back and they were chasing as four of those breakaway riders were  in the top 25: Gallopin (+3.27), Machado (+6.05), Rolland (+7.34), and Gautier (+8.11). 
Though you would never know it from the photo they chose:

Behind, the grupetto is already five minutes back on the peloton. Short, fast stages like today can be very hard for them. I've said it before, I'll say it again: please give us a grupetto cam.

Really lovely scenery today. Adding the Vosges Mountains to my "want to visit" list.

With 86 kilometers remaining the gaps were 1:42 to the chasing group, and 4:36 to the peloton. Go Tony Martin! The grupetto was eleven minutes back. Yikes! Although Greipel was still in the peloton and on water bottle duty. Also in the peloton and back from the break Chavanel and Reza.

Apparently pre-race today Astana had said that if the right sort of rider got up the road, they would give the yellow jersey away, so they do not have to expend the energy to defend it. With 65 kilometers to go, the gap was at almost three to the chasers, and over six to the peloton. Fifty nine kilometers to go and Martin dropped De Marchi. Again, go Tony Martin! And then, rain. With
52.6km to go Martin had almost a minute on De Marchi,  2’50” on 22 chasers, and 7’15” on the peloton.

Hey, J-Rod, perhaps in search of kom points. However, Tony Martin now has the lead in that category. 

Meanwhile, from yesterday: I can't see this picture too many times:

Looking good for Tony Martin: with 21.5km to go, he had  3’12” to 18 chasers and 8’10” to the peloton. Also looking good for Tony Gallopin to be in yellow at the stage's end. Behind Gallopin and Cherel have attacked their break mates. Another abandonment: Egoitz Garcia. 

Happy Tony Martin wins with ease. Today's stage has clearly been brought to you by the letter T. As behind, Tony Gallopin was riding himself into yellow. A french man would ride in yellow on Bastille Day! Behind, the peloton finished more than seven minutes back. Tomorrow: expect fireworks.

Stage: Tony Martin

Yellow: Tony Gallopin

Wine: Domaine Ostertag 2011 Riesling Vignobe D’e 
from Dig

From the importer, Kermit Lynch:
Practicing biodynamic viticulture since 1998, Domaine Ostertag does all vineyard work and harvesting by hand and uses no chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides. The domaine owns 14.4 hectares of vineyards in over 80 separate plots spread over the villages of Epfig, Nothalten, Itterswiller, Ribeauvillé, and Albé.

The fruit is pressed gently, and indigenous yeasts induce a long fermentation that continues until the wines are fully dry (with the exception of the Gewurztraminer). André defies his region’s conventions by aging his Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Noir in oak barrels, in the style of Burgundy, where these varietals originated, on their lees. He uses 228L oak barrels produced from an area of the Vosges mountains that is adjacent to his domaine. Very little new oak is used and it has a very light toast. All used barrels come from the domaine and may be 1 year or up to 20 years old.

Vins de Fruit: (Which is what today's wine is)
Ostertag’s vins de fruit or “fruit wines” are made to express varietal character and feature the flavor of the grapes themselves. The first to be harvested, these wines are aged 6-9 months before release and are meant to be drunk young (within five years of release). The vins de fruit can be identified by their green bottles and the “Dancing Vines” label.

The Ostertag Family:
The name Ostertag means “Easter day,” and the family coat of arms shows the Easter lamb carrying a battle flag. This image was the inspiration for the estate’s logo of a sheep.

I say: Reisling! Oh how I usually miss Riesling during the Tour. I generally wear one of my many Summer of Riesling shirts and drink everything else. I thought of going with something aged, but wanted to include a more available and accessible wine after several days of obscure. Peaches, almonds, some minerals and acidity. A really well-made and excellent gulpable wine.

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