Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wine and Food of the Tour 2015 Stage 12: Cazottes Fleurs de Sureau & Croustades

Stage 12: 195km
Lannemezan / Plateau de Beille

From the local tourist website:
Lannemezan is in southwest France located near the capital of Tarbes and 655km from Paris. There is a big market and a collection of independent shops and chains. You will find one fishmonger, a few butchers and a lovely bookshop, and the countryside has stunning views.
Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges near Lannemezan was originally a Roman colony founded by Roman General Pompey in 72 BC. In 1083 a knight became the bishop and ordered the constructing of the Cathedral and cloister. Today the cathedral still remains plus an archeological site with a theater and other discoveries. This village is a member of “The Most Beautiful Villages of France” and was one of the places that cyclists passed by during the Tour de France in July of 2012.
There are three architectural styles in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Saint-Bertrand-de-Comminges Cathedral as well as marble floors, a 55m-long nave, an impressive choir with 67 stalls in oak and walnut, stained glass, tombs, two huge pillars, a 16th century organ and “coat of arms” over the Romanesque arches.
The remains of the Gallo-Roman Villa of Montmaurin can also be explored. Built in the First Century with modifications in the Third and Fourth Centuries, this was one of the largest of France’s discoveries of Roman villas. Amazingly, archaeologist found a temple, courtyards and many living quarters including 200 rooms, heating under the floors, running water, glazed windows along with marble and mosaic decorations.
Specialities: gâteau des banouliers
Plateau de Beille is per Wikipedia:  a ski resort in the Pyrenees. It is situated in the Ariège department, and in the region of the Midi-Pyrénées. The winter sports station lies at a height of 1,790 m (5,870 ft). For a long time, this plateau was only a place of livestock, especially cattle. It has recently become the site of an important winter sports resort of the Pyrenees, mainly dedicated to the practice of cross-country skiing, with tracks between 1,650 and 2,000 metres (5,410 and 6,560 ft) altitude.
Specialities: delicatessen, zynat (soup), mushrooms, croustade (pastry), tomme d'Ariège cheese, milla ariégeois (dessert)
The stage: Christian Prudhomme's comment: Whatever the situation in the leading positions of the general classification, the rivals of the Yellow Jersey will really have a good opportunity to challenge him. Frightful, the climb to the Plateau de Beille is made for pure climbers. Laurent Fignon used to say that the less prepared struggle on the third day in the mountains.
Pretty stage profile to look at, not so much to ride. Fingers crossed for the grupetto today. Abandonments early: Dowsett and Dempster. 

That large break consisted of Lieuwe Westra, Jakob Fuglsang, Matthieu Ladagnous, Jérémy Roy, Gorka Izagirre,  Michal Kwiatkowski, Romain Bardet, Mickaël Chérel, Christophe Riblon, Jan Barta, Bryan Coquard, Romain Sicard, Kristjian Durasek, Dani Navarro, Sylvain Chavanel, Jérôme Coppel, Joaquim Rodriguez, Frédéric Brun, Anthony Delaplace, Louis Meintjes, Georg Preidler, and Sep Vanmarcke. 
Speaking of Kwiatkowski, he descended very quickly yesterday:

Back on the road today, rain and more Kwiatkowski:

With seventy kilometers to go, the trio had 1'05" over the main breakaway and almost twelve minutes to the yellow jersey group. Further ahead, reports of thunder and lightning at the finish. At fifty kilometrs to go, Priedler would drop from the lead group as the chasers grew closer. Behind, the main peloton had sped u and riders were dropping, including Dan Martin and Peraud. Ahead, Kwiatkowski took the KOM points on the third climb of the day ahead of Vanmarcke and Cherel.



 Crash for Meintjes, but he was back up and riding quickly. 

With twenty-five kilometers to go, the two leaders had 1'24 on the chase and 10'51 over the peloton. They started the final climb 1'45" over the chasers. 13.7 kilometers to go and Kwiatkowski was solo out front. Go flower, go! 

Behind, riders continued to be shed from the yellow jersey peloton. Lots of attacks in the chase group and they were closing in on Kwiatkowski. J-Rod would reach and pass him with just under eight kilometers to go. Behind, Richie Porte was at the front of the very small yellow jersey group. An attack by Contador, but he would not get far. Next attempt: Nibali. Sky did not react. Next to go, Valverde, twice. Ahead, Rodriguez was still alone at the front, with about a thirty second lead. Finally, an attack by Quintana. He would be chased down by Geraint Thomas. 

An attack by Froome. Covered by Quintana, Contador and Tejay. Next up, Valverde again, followed by Quintana. Back to the front though, with four kilometers to go, Geraint Thomas. Ahead, one kilometer to go and Rodriguez was looking good for the stage win. Again, Quintana, but the others would chase. Stage win for Rodriguez! Second for Fuglsang. Third for Bardet.  Behind, the yellow jersey group was all together again.


Wine: Cazottes Fleurs de Sureau White Elderberry Wine
From FranklyWines
From the producer
Heir of the know-how of an itinerant boiler, I try to combine tradition and respect of (by the work made with my spirits) the nature in order to produce the highest quality.

The alliance of this ancestral know-how and a modern approach in a biological environment, allows my brandies, aperitifs and liqueurs to express the quintessence of fruit or flowers aromas which they are derived.

On this wine: A fruity / floral fragmentary as its expression is diverse and varied. Acidity, she presents a profile yet slightly grainy / tense flirting with scents of bergamot and fern. She braced all in its verticality. Alcohol is present, without ostentation. It reinforces the verticality of the set in the arcboutant without constraining.Tannins, brought by Elderflower, are numerous, silky and juveniles and can not be, for the moment, qualified as monocéphales. They constitute a solid architectural base, but not without a certain elasticity, while maintaining the seat of the assembly. The material as a whole shows us, and that's saying that its components without walking each other until they walk with each other ... The finish is very long, and one finds flavors already collected for many caudalies, all on beautiful bitter.

I say: How could I resist? Cazottes has become a yearly Tour tradition for me. Two years ado,  it was his Wild Cherry. Last year, plum. So this year, the fruity and floral: Sweet White Elderberry. As always, fascinating. 

Food: Le Tour tells me that Croustades are a specialty of Plateau de Beille. So for us, Petite Croustades: If you have glanced around the blog, you may have seen that we are participating in Tuesdays with Dorie. So when I needed a croustade recipe, I turned to Dorie Greenspan and her Baking Chez Moi. She describes them as a pastry that straddles the line between tarts and pastries. She also chooses to make smaller versions in a muffin tin, essentially making pouches with phyllo dough and butter before filling them with apples. We used peaches and nectarines instead or really K used as she made these while I was at work. Probably slightly less photogenic than some from the region, but tasty indeed.

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