Wine and some other drinks of Tour de France 2017: Stage 10. Périgueux — Bergerac

Warren Barguil believed he had won stage 9, and so did French TV. He was inverviewed as winner by French TV when he got the message that Rigoberto Uran had won. It is brutal to get this message on direct television, when you thought you were a winner. It was photo finish, but this time the pictures left no doubt. It was clear that Rigoberto Uran was first. Lesson to learn: Do not start a victory interview before the result is official. It was an impressive win by Rigoberto Uran, with only two gears.

There were horrible craches. Geraint Thomas has crashed four times in this Tour, and had to retire with broken collar bone after the last crash. The most shocking crash was Richie Porte down from Mont du Chat. As far as I have been able to fine information, the injuries are not as bad as one could fear after such a horrible crash. Fractured pelvis and fractured collarbone, but so bad as operation is needed. And of course a lot of roas rash. My undestanding is that they are wating for his condition so be stabele enough for him to be sent home. We can only hope for the best, and wish him a good recovery.

Stages like Sunday’s stage are brutal in many ways. With so much up and down, with not much in between the climbs, the sprinters do not get a chance to catch up with some of what they looses in the climbs. The main looser this time was FDJ. I cannot understand their decision to sacrifice three riders to give the captain company when he was ill and it was obvious that he would not be able to finish within the time limit. Thanks to that, FDJ lost four riders on this stage.

Today is another flat stage. Normally, I would say that it will be another bunch sprint. The GC-contenders will save energy for the Pyrenees, and their teams will not do much work on the two flat stages before the next mountain stages. The sprint teams will have to do the work to control the stage. But it is the second week and the first stage after the rest day. Maybe a break away will make it to the finish on this stage.

We have moved from the mountains in the east, to the forests in the west.

After the rest day, the riders start in Perigeux in Dordogne, in the distrct called Perigord. It is a place well worth a visit. I was there a little more than a year ago. We cycled, but it was only relaxed rides on forest roads and some paths. In the culinary world, Dordogne is known for products from ducks and geese, like Confit de Canard and Foie gras. And for truffes.

Perigord is often divided into four part, each given a colour: Pergord Vert (green), Perigord Blanc (white), Perigord Noir (black) and Perigord Pourpre (purple).

The departure town, Perigeurd, is in Perigord Blanc. The area got this name from the light limestone that dominates the areas. To the north is the foresty Perigord Vert, but we are not going there today.

The entire area where the riders will cycle today, has a lot to offer.

From Periguex the riders go to Perigord Noir. It is an area with large oak forests, known for its truffes. Here we also find Grotte de Lascaux, with its famous wall paintings. The world’s oldest artwork.

From here, the riders turn west towards Perigord Poupere. Poupre represents the colour of the vines in the autoumn. Here we find the wine district Bergeracois.

Kart av Cyril5555, Wikimedia common, CC BY-SA 3.0

Bordeaux did not get its position in the wine market just by producing the best wine. If we go back a few hundred years, before they had drained the soil properly, the wine from Bordueax was not very good. But Bordeaux has a strategic location, even more strategic then than now. Good from along the rivers that flow out in the sea at Bordaux, like Gironde, Dordogne and Lot, sent their good on boats down the rivers to be sold in, and resold from Bordeaux. The wine from up the rivers was better and had more body than the wines produced in Bordeaux. In Bordeaux, it was blended with Bordaux wine and sold as Bordeaux wine. It has also been said that the merchants in Bordeaux refused to ship wines from other regions, before all the Bordeaux wine was sold. By blending wine from among other regions, Bergerac, into Bordaux wine, Bordaux wine got a reputation for being better then the wine acutally produced in Bordaux. An the wines from the districts upstream remained unknown, as it usually was not sold under its own name.

I think of Bergerac first and foremeost as a red wine district. But they produce whie and rosé wines too, as they do in Bordeaux.

Bergerac rouge is made from Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It is a fruity and rather light wine that should be drunk young.

Côtes-de-Bergerac is made mainly from Cabernet Sauvignon, which gives a more structured wine. It is a wine that can be stored.

In Pecharmant they produce only red wine. The wines are made with a grape blend that more or less reflects the grape production in the area: . 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 10% Cot (Malbec). The wine has often been stored in oak barrels. It gives a fruity and generous wine that can be stored for some time. Of the red wines from the region, the wines from Pecharmant are often the best.

On Dordogne’s left bank, south of the town Bergerac, they produce the sweet white wine Monbazzillac. It is produced from the grapes Semillon, Muscadelle and Sauvignon blanc. The micro climat in the area often causes the grapes to get noble rot, which is not really a rot, but a funghi that perforates the skin. The water evaoprates, giving a very concentrated must, high in sugar, just as in the more well konwn district Sauternes. som egentlig ikke er en råte, men en muggsopp. Skallet perforeres, slik at vannet fordamper. Resultatet er en konsentrert most med høyt sukkerinnhold, som i det mer kjente området Sauternes.

To the west of Monbazzilac is the area Saussignac where they produce a rather similar sweet wine, but not of the same quality as in Monbazzilac.

Wines from this area cannont compete with the top wines from Bordeaux. But we do not have to pay as much for the label, as we do when we buy a Bordaeax, also when we are buying wines that are not from the top producers. Wines from the area around Bergerac are very good wines, and they often give better value for money than the more famous wines from Bordeaux.

When the boat men had transported their goods down to Bordeaux, they often bought dried fish (cod), Stockfish, that came from Norway. We Norwegians love to find Norwegian connections. They hang it from the stern of their boats when rowing up the rivers, and when they returend home it was rehydrated so it was eatable. They mix it with mashed potatoes and walnut oil, to a dish called Estofinade.

The  World Atlas of Wine

1845336895If 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".

Buy it from Amazon UK or  Amazon US.

Grand Atlas des vignobles de France

2263046607This 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.

Order from:

Amazon FR
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Tour de France 2017

Tour de France
Giro d'Italia


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