Saturday, July 25, 2015

Wine & Food of the Tour de France 2015 Stage 20: Les Grangeons de l'Albarine Roussette du Bugey "en Paradis" & Blueberry Tart

Stage 20 110.5km
Modane Valfréjus / Alpe d'Huez

LeTour tells me this about Modane Valfréjus: The city's history was conditioned by its geographic location, at the heart of trade exchanges between France and Italy, especially since the Fréjus tunnel was built. In 2011, it was after an Italian-French stage that Modane made its appearance in the club of Tour de France host cities. At the time, the course already took the riders to l'Alpe-d'Huez for quite a showdown. The Valfréjus resort also welcomed the Critérium du Dauphiné in 1987, for a stage that saw Charly Mottet take command of the GC.
Specialities: culinary specialities of Savoy, Modane bread (stuffed with fruit), Beaufort cheese.

From the Podium Cafe stage preview: Would this place exist without the Tour? The village would be -- it dates back to the 14th century. The ski station? Probably, because skiing is everywhere in this area and the 1968 bobsled events were here. But I'm not sure any of that comes close to the importance of the road to the world of cycling, where it is known simply as "The Alpe," and has its own books written about it. This is the Tour's 29th visit, and almost all of them were in-race legends. The atmosphere sets it apart from any other (for better or worse). It's as close as the Tour will come to a cycling stadium, where they stage events fit for the Roman Colosseum. Thumbs up.
Specialities: gratin, crozets (pasta), ganèfles (potato and cheese dish), Villard Reculas goat's cheese, blueberry tart, génépi

The stage: Christian Prudhomme's comment Appearing for the first time 24 hours from the finish of the Tour, the climb to l'Alpe-d'Huez could still trouble the general classification. Just as long as the rivals of the Yellow Jersey still believe in their chances, the ultra-dynamic course won't leave the slightest opportunity to relax with the climbs up to the Col du Télégraphe, the Galibier (summit of the 2015 Tour) and of course l'Alpe-d'Huez. In other words 100 kms of pure drama!

The final true racing stage of the Tour. Note that since that comment above was written, the Croix de Fer replaced the Galibier due to a landslide that cut off the return to Bourg d'Oisins. But the day will still provide plenty of challenges. 

The early break of the day, with ninety kilometers to go, Bak, Edet, Geniez and Navardauskas had 4'20"over the peloton. With seventy five kilometers to go, they had over seven minutes. The first climb of the day was the Col de la Croix de Fer. It was 29 kilometers long, with an average grade of 5.2%. 

Valverde with the first attack with fifty eight kilometers to go. As expected, there went Quintana! Time for a race. 
Behind, Nibali and Froome were together, having dropped Contador. On the descent, the four would be together: Froome, Quintana, Valverde and Nibali. Others would rejoin them on the descent, including Thomas, Roche, Porte and Contador. 

Off the front of the yellow jersey group, Pinot, Plaza, Hesjedal, Anacona, Rolland, and Serpa. Geniez remained in the lead alone.  

Nibali puncture. Ahead, an attack by Quintana, but he would be caught. Movistar need to keep attacking as they climb. And he would. At the front of the race, Geniez was still in the lead, but he was being chased by Hesjedal and Pinto with ten kilometers to go. Behind, an attack by Valverde, with no reaction from Froome. Next to go, Quintana again. Further up, Hesjedal and Pinot were together at the front of the race. Behind, Quintana had reached Anacona, who would help to pace him up the mountain. 

Crazy fans alert. Yikes. Five kilometers to go and Pinot was solo in the lead. Another push by Quintana, but he had only thirty five seconds or so on Froome. Wow was he flying. 

One kilometer to go for Pinot and he had twenty two seconds over Quintana. He would hold on! Next in Quintana with a six second time bonus. Third to the line Hesjedal. Fourth and fifth, Froome and Valverde, with more than enough time for Froome to retain his yellow jersey. 



Wine: 2013 Les Grangeons de l'Albarine Roussette du Bugey "en Paradis"
From FranklyWines 
From the producer with some help from google translate:
It is the vintage "jewel" in the field of Grangeons. From a beautiful plot of Highness or dogfish, typically native variety, located on the steep hillside of Argis, beautiful ripe and healthy grapes were harvested by hand in late September. Pressed whole, smooth, they gave a nice juice that began quietly fermentation tank, after a light settling. Then the must joined the Burgundian barrels of five wines to continue the fermentation of sugars, completed before the winter cold. The "malo" or fermenting malic acid, was made late (July) for racking and bottling, with a slight filtration plates, beginning in September 2012 after 11 months of aging on lees (without batonnage) .The slightly filtered wine expresses the nose, the aromatic character of its grape variety: pineapple, mango, litchi, but also white flowers, with finesse and delicacy. The palate is smooth, palatable, but with the roundness of livestock in the wood. The finish is fine, mineral, almost saline. A delicate wine that should properly support the bottle to still be benefit in some months- years? So watch once in your cellar!
I say: Lemonade yellow in color. Lovely high acid, but with a full body and some honeyed notes.  Sweeter on the nose than in the mouth.

Food: Time to make a blueberry tart. After all, it is a LeTour listed specialty. 
Saveur tells me that "Growing wild in the mountains of the French Alps, myrtilles are similar to wild blueberries and often find themselves in the wonderful berry tarts typical of Savoyard desserts."

We used our go-to Dorie Greenspan tart crust (find the recipe here) and then followed this recipe. It made for a great Tour viewing breakfast.

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