Thursday, July 13, 2017

Wine & Food of the Tour 2017 Stage 12

Where are we? Pau / Peyragudes

Peyragudes:A mountain in the Pyrenees? It must be another ski station. The local tourist site says: Innovative and convivial to make skiing the epitome of enjoyment, this resort is counting on flexibility both in number of ski runs and within the village itself, ensuring maximum snow cover and preservation of the environment
At the foot of the pistes, overlooking the Louron and Larboust valleys, the resort is divided over two mountain sides- Agudes and Peyresourde. Since its creation Peyragudes has constantly innovated with a particularly well developed programme of activities

Specialities: Ash cider (beverage made from ash tree leaves), honey, cheese. Within the department: Bigorre black pork (AOC), Tarbes beans, wine (Madiran and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh AOC), Barèges-Gavarnie AOC sheep, Gascon chicken, garbure, foie gras, spit-roasted cake, Trébons onions

The stage: Christian Prudhomme's comment: The longest stage of the Pyrenean stay will be made of an extremely difficult sequence of climbs. As kilometres are covered, it'll only get harder with the climb up to the Col de Menté, even more selective with the Port de Balès and will become a real agony for the legs in the new final climb to Peyragudes. In the final kilometre, on the runway of the only airport of the Pyrenees, will be a passage at 16% over a distance of 200 metres.
Live:  The Pyrenees! Wet toads and cloud cover, fingers crossed that we won't lose our video. The break of the day had some interesting riders, including both Kittel and Matthews, who were in search of intermediate sprint points.

Not surprisingly, after the sprint point, Kittel would drop from the break:

Fun to watch Matthews descend alone off the front of the peloton. He would eventually wait, clearly wanting company for the upcoming kilometers. 
Coming soon:

Both the lead group and the peloton have been shrinking:

Under thirty five kilometers to go and it was Cummings and DeGendt out front with a gap of only 2:30. 
Attacks by Barguil in search of points and Contador in search of, well, time. They would not get away.
Alone in the front, Cummings.

Dramatic crash for Gautier, but he fell into the grass and was up riding again. 
From the very small peloton, a mistake from Froome and Aru as both ended up of course. They were back riding very quickly though.

Quintana dropped. The Giro may have taken too much out of his legs.
Cummings caught. Still Sky leading the peloton, though they have shed a few riders.

Fans desperate for an attack, but do any of the riders have the legs?
Contador dropped. Ten riders left, three from Sky.

Nieve dropped. Froome still has Landa.
As they continue up an attack by Bennet. Landa would pull him back. 
Finally, Aru tried and appeared to be gaining some time on Froome. Bardet with the stage win. Happy almost Bastille Day!
Aru in yellow!

Wine: Lapeyre Jurancon Sec 2013 
From Copake Wine
From the producer

This family farm was traditional dedicated to mixed farming with livestock, small fruits and grapes which were taken to the local cooperative. From 1985 onwards, the estate was turned over exclusively to viticulture when Jean-Bernard Larrieu gave birth to Clos Lapeyre, farming his vines, fermenting his grapes, ageing his wines, bottling and then selling them. In 2000, the vineyard covered about 10 hectares and then in 2004 it grew when the magnificent, old vineyards of Domaine de Nays-Labassère were taken over, with an extra 7 hectares in the heart of Chapelle-de-Rousse.
The Lapeyre sec is made of 100% Gros Manseng. The grapes come mainly from a vineyard called Herrua. 
Food:Cassoulet Beans from Rancho Gordo
They say:  West Coast-grown from classic French Tarbais seed stock. The most famous bean for a traditional cassoulet but versatile enough to become an everyday favorite.

Is it marketing or is it history? Some would argue that a cassoulet isn't a cassoulet without Tarbais beans. There are many more interesting arguments to be had, but we think once you taste these, you'll agree that it's a great bean. Large, white and super-creamy, our Cassoulet Bean is ideally suited to the slow-cooked goodness of a cassoulet. All the various meats and seasonings mingle with the mild but sturdy beans and with a little effort, you have one of the classic dishes of southwest France.

Rather than suffer French prices, which can run up to $30 a pound when out of season, we took seed from France and produced this bean with our distinct terroir here in California. Tarbais beans were developed by generations of farmers in Tarbes, France. The orginal seed is a New World runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus) and most likely orginated in Mexico. Out of respect for the French farmers and terroir, we're calling the bean Cassoulet Bean. We think in order to call it Tarbais, it should be grown in southwestern France.
You can follow the classic rules for cassoulet (and we recommend Paula Wolfert's glorious The Cooking of Southwest France : Recipes from France's Magnificent Rustic Cuisine) or you can experiment and be creative. A casserole of Cassoulet Beans with odds and ends from your refrigerator and larder, topped with good bread crumbs and dotted with butter before a trip to the oven would be a welcome dish on a winter's table.

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