Saturday, July 23, 2016

Wine & Food of the Tour de France 2016 Stage 20: Domaine Lucas and Tomme de Savoie

Where are we? Riding 146.5 kilometers from Megève to Morzine-Avoriaz
Morzine is a twenty time stage town and a mountain resort in Haute-Savoie. Michelin tells me that: Situated at 980 m altitude, the resort of Morzine is the tourist capital of the upper Chablais. Its ski area will please all ski lovers, from beginners to experienced sportsmen. There are easy pistes (Choucas), difficult pistes (Creux and Aigle) and long-distance ranges. 

Specialties from LeTour: Berthoud (fondue using Abondance cheese), fondue, raclette, tartiflette, diots (sausages), merveilles (fritters), rissoles (turnover filled with stewed pears or apples). 

From LeTour: Christian Prudhomme's comment
The Grand Final for the climbers and maybe for the Yellow Jersey will once again be played in the Alps on a short and intense stage for which one will have to keep energy… and cold blood.Indeed after the climbs to the Col de la Ramaz, and then Joux Plane, the Tour could well be decided on a long 12-kilometre downhill portion. A first!

The stage

Another fully live stage, so in between commercials we get to see the break develop. It appeared that the first attempt to establish a group did not please the peloton and they chased, essentially dividing the peloton into two large groups. 37 riders in the lead with 130 kilometers to go.
De Gendt would set off alone, but would be caught by riders from the very large group out front. At the sprint point it would be Matthews followed by Sagan and De Gendt.
The riders up the road are: Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Sergio Henao (Sky), Ion Izagirre and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Peter Sagan and Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff), Ben Gastauer, Cyril Gautier and Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Wilco Kelderman and George Bennett (Lotto-Jumbo), Frank Schleck and Jasper Stuyven (Trek), Jarlinson Pantano (IAM), Pierre Rolland, Tom-Jelte Slagter and Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale), Patrick Konrad (Bora), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Sylvain Chavanel and Fabrice Jeandesbosz (Direct Energie), Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Warren Barguil (Giant Alpecin), Chris Juul-Jensen and Michael Matthews (Orica).

Lots of fans along the roadside today.

 With 89 kilometers to go, the gap was 5:24. Virtually, Kreuziger had pushed Quintana off the podium. The break would split with Izagirre, Nibali, Sagan and Kreuziger, Rui Costa, Pantano, Alaphilippe and Gougeard at the front. 

At the front, Gougeard went off solo as Mollema dropped off the yellow jersey group. Sixty kilometers to go and the gap was under five minutes. Mulitple attacks at the front with De Gendt, Rolland and Costa all making attempts to get away.   

Wet descent and De Gendt was caught and passed by Pantano, with others not far behind. 35 kilometers to go and Alaphilippe, Pantano were ahead, followed by Nibali, Henao, Rui Costa, De Gendt, Kreuziger, Keldermann, and Izaguirre. 
Further behind, Mollema had made it back to the yellow jersey group.
Pantano and Alaphilippe had a gap of 1:30 over the chasers as they started the Joux Plane. 
Behind, Aru was dropped from the group as Mollema attacked.Ahead, Nibali attacked the chase group. Time for the Jaws theme? Alaphilippe would surge ahead of Pantano, but failed to get a large gap. Nibali would catch them. He would attack and get a small gap. Izagirre would catch Alaphilippe and Pantano, dropping Alaphilippe. The duo would catch Nibali.

Lots of talk on Twitter of Nibali not taking risks on the descent due to the upcoming Olympic road race. Indeed Izagirre would take the lead and would stay away to take the stage win.




Wine: Domaine Lucas Quintessence Chasselas

From Selection Massale:  Dominique Lucas has chosen what many would seem a Quixotic pursuit, to make Chasselas in that Savoie that stands with the best white wines of France.  Despite the grapes low reputation Dominique has been planting the grape (along with a little bit of Savagnin) on serious terroirs overlooking Lake Geneva and farming them biodynamically since day one.  So far the results are eye-opening and deserving of a serious look in the same way that Dominique Belluard has managed to make Gringet fought over by his buyers.  He also makes a small amount of Burgundy from his family’s old estate near Pommard.  We expect great things from him in the future as his vineyards come into maturity.

Food: Tomme de Savoie tells me that:
Tomme de Savoie is often made with skim milk after the cream has been used to make butter. This is why Tommes are traditionally low in fat content (20-40 %). There are many varieties of Tommes, and they are often named after the village where they are produced. Tommes made in winter are from the milk of cows that are fed hay, very different from the Tommes made with the summer milk from cows that gaze in the high mountain pastures. The maturing process often takes several months, which gives the cheese a thick rind with a rustic appearance. It is grey in colour with patches of yellow or red moulding. The taste is soft and fruity, and occasionally one can detect a subtle flavour of grass. The pâte is pale yellow, nearly white and has small holes. It sticks to the palate and has odours of cave.

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