Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wines of La Vuelta Stage 11: Quintana Out and Pacharan

Pamplona - Santuario de San Miguel de Aralar 153.4 km

Two days in a row with a Vuelta post! Actually, there will be wines almost everyday this week. That said, we have no rest for the weary with a mountain top finish, the day after the time trial. Podium Cafe preview here.  Inrng preview here
The big question going into today's stage was how would Quintana look after his crash yesterday. Unfortunately, it was answered very early, as he was forced to abandon after a second crash. Now we wonder if Valverde or J-Rod or Uran or a few others could challenge Contador. 
Back on the road, three more abandonments: Pinot, Bouet and Morabito.  Also on the road, after 70 kilometers of racing, our break of four, Elia Favilli (Lampre-Merida), Johan Le Bon (, Pim Ligthart (Lotto Belisol), and Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky), had a four minute gap. With 56 kilometers remaining, and still no live video, Kiryienka attacked and was out front solo. With video starting, Kiryienka has pushed his lead to one minute. 

Coming up they have: a long and steady climb, followed by a fast descent, a short valley road and then the climb to the finish. All in 35 kilometers. Katusha continued to lead the chase. Kirby and Kelly on Eurosport have already decided that Kiryienka is doomed. But one never knows. 

Eighteen kilometers to go and his gap was hovering around two minutes. Fifteen kilometers to go and it was just above one minute. And sure enough, as they started to climb Kiryienka was caught. 7.5 kilometers to go and Arredondo launches the first attack. Froome meanwhile was not looking good at the back of the bunch. New attacks by Barguil and Gesink. Barguil was brought back quickly while Gesink dangled out front. Lots of attacks coming from the very small favorites group behind. Three kilometers to go and while Dan Martin attacked, Froome appeared to be dropping, but he kept bouncing back. Two kilometers to go and Froome had made it back to the front of the group at the 14% section. Flying by him though, Contador, but the other favorites stayed with him. Just over one kilometer to go and Gesink was caught. One kilometer and Aru attacks, quickly getting a gap. He would hold on, with the favorites sprinting for places behind.

Stage: Fabio Aru
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:06  
3 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha    
4 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo    
5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:07  
6 Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:14  
7 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:15  
8 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp    
9 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:18  
10 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:21  

1. CONTADOR, Alberto 201 Tinkoff – Saxo 40h 26’ 56’’
2. VALVERDE, Alejandro 151 Movistar Team 40h 27’ 16’’ + 20’’
3. URAN, Rigoberto 177 Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 40h 28’ 04’’ + 1’ 08’’
4. FROOME, Christopher 191 Team SKY 40h 28’ 17’’ + 1’ 21’’
5. RODRIGUEZ, Joaquin 131 Team Katusha 40h 28’ 31’’ + 1’ 35’’
6. SÁNCHEZ, Samuel 41 BMC Racing Team 40h 28’ 48’’ + 1’ 52’’
7. ARU, Fabio 21 Astana Pro Team 40h 29’ 09’’ + 2’ 13’’
8. ANACONA, Winner 2 Lampre Merida 40h 29’ 18’’ + 2’ 22’’
9. GESINK, Robert 34 Belkin Pro Cycling Team 40h 29’ 51’’ + 2’ 55’’
10. CARUSO, Damiano 65 Cannondale Pro Cycling 40h 30’ 47’’ + 3’ 51’’

Wine: Baines Pacharan de Aranon Slow Berry Liqueur $34.99
From Frankly Wines
Christy says: Sweet neat, but I like it on the rocks and cut with some sparkling water

From the producer:
Since time immemorial it has been popular in Navarre and the Basque Country. The actual date of its discovery is unknown, but this liqueur was consumed by both nobles and vassals alike during mediaeval times, due its healing properties.
The tradition of making Pacharan first arose in Navarre. Pacharan is a liqueur made by macerating the fruit Prunus Espinosa (sloe berry, blackthorn fruit, patxaran) in anise.
It is known that Pacharan was included among the dishes served at the wedding of Gonofre of Navarre (1394 - 1428), the illegitimate son of King Carlos III and Doña Teresa de Arellano in 1415. It is also known that Queen Blanca I of Navarre (1385-1441) drank Pacharan because of its medicinal properties when she fell ill at the Monastery of Santa María de Nieva in 1441.

Casks and tradition. A good way to define a Pacharan such as Baines Oro. When Licores Baines first started operating in 1844, it used casks to store its liqueurs. For this reason, as we well know the effects of wood on the product, the original process has been maintained. 500-litre oak casks which are used to macerate selected sloe berries in quantities of more than 250 grams per litre for at least six months.
A unique product, with an intense ruby red colour, violet edges and a medium robe. The nose is fruity, sweet, complex, balsamic and harmonious, and the mouth is dense, voluptuous and rounded. Pacharan at its best.

More here from the Wall Street Journal on Pacharan. 

I say: Trying this one on the rocks. It actually reminds me a bit of Bachelor's Jam. Very bold and fruity, but with a spiced and alcoholic bite.

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