25 July 2014

Tour de France and the wines of Madiran

The Tour de France is turning north to Paris. Today it   passes through a beautiful region in the foothills of the Pyrenees. A region crossed for centuries by pilgrams heading to Campostella de Santiago on the coast of Spain. They feel in love with the wines of the region and were said to carry them onwards on their journeys. (Some say this was the origin of alter wine- must have mighty fine alter wine if you ask us!) 

We included an excellent red wine from the Madiran region in our Taste the Tour 6 pack. Although the Tour is nearly over, these 6 wines will give you a great introduction to the wines of the region, to enjoy at your leisure.

Stage 19: Madiran
Friday 25 July - Maubourguet Pays du Val D’Adour : Bergerac 208 km
The tour leaves the mountains of the Pyrenees.   Today’s departure is from Maubourguet Pays du Val D’Adour in the foothills of the Pyrenees. An area of plains and hills, the Pays du Val D'Adour is at the crossroads of the Béarn, Bigorre and Gascogne cultures.  Maubourguet, the name of the common was chosen by its inhabitants to inspire fear to possible invaders. But the “Bad Village” will certainly be far more hospitable to the riders.  This 208 km stage is completely devoid of any real difficulties and, on paper at least, should smile upon the sprinters.  There could be a surprise breakaway.

Wine 5 Domaine du Crampilh, Vignes Vieilles, Madiran Rouge, 2009

This is a powerful multi-award winning wine from a well-regarded producer in the Madiran region. This domaine aims to produce a wine “in a style that brings out the heart and soul of south-west France”. The wines of this region date back to Roman times but were made famous by pilgrims passing through the region.  Made from 70% Tannat and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. A beautiful deep purple colour. An intense and savoury nose with black fruits, vanilla and leather. A concentrated palate with rich black fruit and peppery spices balanced with great structure, fine chalky tannins and acid. Intense, powerful but great length and balance.

Suggestion: Perfect with lamb shanks or duck breasts. We found this excellent recipe on the SBS Food website for beef checks braised in Madiran- we used some chuck steak instead and a bouquet garni from the garden. Delicious!  

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