Marcel Kittel had a strong and impressive sprint yesterday. And we Norwegians loved to see strong riding from Vegard Stake Laengen.
Today is another flat stage that will probably end in a bunch sprint.
This is the wine stage of this year’s Tour. We start in Champagne, but I will not add anything to what I wrote yesterday. But as an aperitif, nothing is better than champagne.
The stage passes not far from Chablis. On drier stages, we would be happy to make detours longer than this, to find a wine as good as chablis. But today, we don’t do that. Today’s stage ends in the heart of Burgundy, and we go to the end. I see no reason to stop before we get there. In Burgundy, they produce red wine from Pinot Noir and white from Chardonnay. Pinot Noir and Chardonny do not get any better than they to in Burgundy, at least if we keep champagne out of the comparision, and we have to pay for the quality. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay do not get more exepensive than they do in Burgundy. They also make a very good sparkling wine, Crémant de Borgogne, but I will only cover still wines.
Burgundy consists of the wine districts Chablis, Côte-d’Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Mâcon. Today’s stage goes in Côte d’Or, which is the filét og Burgundy. I see noe reason to go outside of Côte-d’Or. Côte-d’Or goes from Dijon in the north, to about Changy in the south.
The northern part of Côte-d’Or is Côte-de-Nuits. This part is mainly known for its red wines. The southern part is Côte-de-Beaune, mainly known for white wines. Today’s stage goes in Côte-de-Nuits, som we stay there. And we stick to red wine.
The riders come in to Cte-de-Nuits at an almost ideasl place, at Gevrey-Chambertin. Here the riders turnd south, towards some of the best vineyards in Burgundy. Gevrey-Chambertin has 9 of the 24 crand cru vineyards in Côte-de-Nuits. These are the ones with darkest colour on the map.
In Burgundy, one need to dig down in the details, as we to some extend did in Germany for stage 2 and 3. It is not enough to know the districts and producers, we need to know the individual vineyards.
If you want to taste all the noble wines, you need to be richer than me. For these are expensive wines. If I have interpreted the maps correctly, the riders will mainly cycle between vineyards that are only “AOP Gevrey Chambertin”, not grand cru or premier cru. But an “oridnary” Gevrey Chambertin is a very good wine, and it is not cheap.
The riders continues south, and come to the areas Morey-Saint-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny before arriving in Vougeot.
The wines from Chambolle-Musigny is ofte said to be more feminin then the wines from Gevrey-Chambertin. Clos-de-Vougeot is known for its garnd cru vineyard, and is almost a symbol of Burgyndy.
At Vougeot the riders turn left, and cycle a smal tour before the return to the vineyards a bit south of Nuits-Saint-George. This tour take them out of the more interesting wine areas. We let them ride on their own, and continue straight ahead. Then we arrive in Vosne-Romanée, a commune with 8 grand crus and 15 premiere crus.
Here they produce one of the worlds most expensive wines, Romanée-Conti. It is a wine collectors want to have in their collection, among them restaurants that want to present a large and interesting wine cellars. Some of them invites the guests to visit their wine cellar, and some even let you have your dinner down there. (Remember to dress for cellar temerature). There they may have a bottle of Romanée-Conti on display. I have seen a few of these bottles, but I have never tasted the content.
The riders return from their little tour in Premeaux-Prissy, in the southern end of the wine district Nuits-Saint-Georges, from where the riders do not have time to think of wine the last three kilometers to what will probably be a mass sprint in Nuits-Saint-Georges.
The World Atlas of Wine
If you will have only one book on wine, “The World Atlas of Wine”, by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson is the one you should have. It is a classic, and it is now in its seventh edtition. It is a beautiful book with nice maps and excellent content. It covers the entire world, but still with an emphazis on "The Old World".
Grand Atlas des vignobles de France
This is the kind of atlas I would like to have for all wine producing countries in the world. Good and detaield maps, with informative text. Could we wish for more? Some may wish for another laguage, as this is in French only.
How to find the best French wines?
I could have added: The best wines in a region or in a category. When I am searching for good wine producers in France, be it to find wines along the Tour de France roue, or wines I would like to taste and maybe buy, I use three books to orient myself. There are (too) many wine producers offering wine tasting. We cannot just visit them randomly. Then we risk to taste a lot of uinteresting wines, and miss the better wines. When I visit a producer and taste their wines, I feel a pressure to buy some wine, despite that I know I can just say merci beaucoup, and leave. It is necessarry to do some research, and find the wine producers to visit. For this purpose, I use the three books. There are three books, published yearly. Now I use the 2017-editions. I always have problems deciding which is the better one, and end up buying all three. Some of the books are available in Kindle, versions, but for this kind of books, I prefer the paper versions. I have to add that these books are in French only.
Le Guide des Meilleurs vins de France
This book is published by the Wine Magazine La Revue du Vin de France. This is in practise my favourite, and the the book in which I start searching first. But I cannot say that it is better than the others
This year's edition covers 1120 producers and 6592 wines.
Le Guide Hachette des vins
For me, this is the book I consult as number two. I have no other explanation than that this was the second of these book I got to know. It includes more wines than Le Guide des Meilleurs vins de France
Guides des vins. Bettane + Desseauve
Guides to reasonably pirced wines
There are guidebooks for reasonably priced wines. I have bought a few of them, but has stopped buying them. This does not mean that I am snobbish (or rich), and only drink expensive wines. Most of the wines I am drinking is reasoably priced. Reasonable wines are not excluded from the books mentioned. If there is a resonably priced wine of high quality, you will find them in these books. But I am searching for good wines, not cheap wines. I am not trying to locate a producer because of its cheap wines. Then I choose one of the wines I find in the supermarkets when I am in France.
Some Wine Magazines
In addition to these books, I read about wine in quality newspapers back home in Norway. But I see not point in mentioning the Norwegian newspapers in this English language version. I also read regularly two French wine magazines, La Revue du Vin de France and Terre de Vins. The latter is published in Languedoc, and has a kind of southern profile. I also read the English wine magazin Decanter.
Tour de France 2017
- Norwegian version
- Stage 1. Prolog in Düsseldorf
- Stage 2. Düsseldorf — Liege
- Stage 3. Verviers — Longwy
- Stage 4. Mondorf-les-Bains — Vittel
- Stage 5. Vittel — La planche des belles filles
- Stage 6. Vesoul — Troyes
- Stage 7. Troyes — Nuits-Saint-Georges
- Stage 8. Dole — Station des rousses
- Stage 9. Natuna — Chambréy
- Stage 10. Périgueux — Bergerac
- Stage 11. Eymet — Pau
- Stage 12. Pau — Peyragudes
- Stage 13. Saint-Girons — Foix
- Stage 14. Blagnac — Rodez
- Stage 15. Laissac-Sévérac l’Église — Le Puy-en-Velay
- Stage 16. Le Puy-en-Velay — Romans-sur-Isère
- Stage 17. La Mure — Serre-Chevalier
- Stage 18. Briançon — Izoard
- Stage 19. Embrun — Salon-de-Provence
- Stage 20. Marseille — Marseille (individual time trial)
- Stage 21 Montgeron — Paris Champs-Élysées
Tour de France