Saturday, July 18, 2015

Wine and Food of the Tour de France Stage 14: Seigneurs du Peyreviel Cotes du Millau & Roquefort

Stage 14: 178.5km
Rodez / Mende

Mende is considered to be one of the gateways to the Grand Causses and Cevennes region - a magnificent natural setting where a diversity of Mediterranean landscapes have been shaped by man for millennia.
The limestone plateaus of the Causses (Causse Mejean, Sauveterre, Causse Noir) are incised by Gorges (the Gorges du Tarn and Gorges de la Jonte) and valleys (the Valley of the river Lot, for example), with rugged Cévennes schists, Mont Lozère and Aigoual granite. The visitor is confronted with a variety of magical images - geological fingerprints in the rock as the land has been laboriously tamed by local farmers - the caussenards of the Cevennes for whom agro-pastoralism is the way of life.
Specialities: herb sausage, aligot, meats, honey, goat's cheese (pélardon), sheep's cheese (feta), croquants de Mende (biscuits)
The stage:  
Christian Prudhomme's comment: Revenges or third rounds are to be expected between those who will have fought for first positions up the Mur de Huy or Mûr de Bretagne. The figures concerning the Côte de la Croix Neuve say it all: 3 kilometres at over 10%, only the strongest will have their word to say.

The weather forecast:
Lots of early excitement as the group had trouble mutually agreeing upon a break. Which meant that they repeatedly chased down the early attempts.  Sixty kilometers in and a group seemed to have finally been established:
Peter Sagan, Jarlinson Pantano, Rigoberto Uran, Bob Jungels, Ruben Plaza, Andrey Grivko, and Matthieu Ladagnous. The peloton was 4'40" back from that group with a chase group of 12 riders in between: Bakelants, Castroviejo, Golas, Gautier, Cummings, Van Avermaet, S. Yates, Pinot, Roy, De Kort, Koren, Périchon, and Maté. Those groups would eventually combine, but not before Sagan won the intermediate sprint. With one hundred kilometers to go, they had over eight minutes on the peloton.

Lovely bridge:

Seventy five kilometers to go and the gap was at seven minutes. Sixty five kilometers to go and the gap was at 6'46". 
Speaking of lovely:
Maybe some bungee jumping?

Forty kilometers to go and the gap was at six minutes. 

Twenty eight kilometers to go and Golas attacked from the front of the break. Time for that group to start attacking each other already. Nineteen kilometers to go and he had twenty one seconds over his former compatriots, with 5'46" to the peloton behind. The next to launch from that group was Koren and he would catch Golas with eleven kilometers to go. Behind, a flat for Porte as he was fetching bottles. 

Next to attack from behind, Bardet. Sticking with him, Simon Yates. 

Yates would be dropped, but chasing behind Bardet, Uran and Pinot.  Way behind, an attack from Quintana. Nibali and Valverde would go with him. Ahead, Pinto would catch Bardet. Joining them Cummings. And he would win! 

Meanwhile, back down the road, Quintana and Froome were together. Slightly behind, Contador and Valverde. Behind them, Nibali and van Garderen. Finishing very closely together, Froome, Quintana and Valverde. Next in Contador followed by Nibali and van Garderen. A bit of a GC change today.


Wine: Seigneurs du Peyreviel Cotes du Millau 2012
From FranklyWines $11.99

A new region for me, covering close to 50 hectares in 17 communes in the department of the Aveyron. Paul Strang's South-West France tells me that the main red grape varieties are gamay and syrah, each of which may be 30%. The reigon were first accorded AOC status in 2012. 

I say: The least expensive wine of the Tour. Deeply red and kind of rough, but not heavy. Wood, leather and cherries, but smoother than that description makes it sound. A blend of 50% Syrah, 30% Gamay, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Fer Servadou. 

Food: Roquefort papillon
A sheep's milk blue that most are probably familiar with. 
From the producer:
They say that a young shepherd, in love, was distracted by a shepherdess. Forgetting his rye bread and sheep's cheese in the cave of Combalou where he was resting, he left to pursue the girl. A little while later, he returned to this place and discovered his meal covered in a blue-green mould. Famished, he tasted the cheese and was delighted. Roquefort, alchemy between the natural ventilation of a cave, rye bread and the cheese of the Lacaune ewes had been born.
In 1070 there is mention for the first time of Roquefort in the Carolingian texts. From then on the history of Roquefort remains closely related to Roquefort-sur-Soulzon and the Combalou mountains, thanks to King Charles VI. He decided in the 15th century, and for the first time in France, to grant exclusive production rights to the inhabitants of Roquefort, making the caves protected places. In the Century of the Enlightenment, Diderot consecrated Roquefort by awarding it the title of King of cheeses. In 1925, Roquefort became the first recognised Appellation d'Origine cheese. To date, it benefits from European recognition as Appellation d'Origine Protégée, which guarantees the provenance of a product.

No comments:

Post a Comment