The Tour de France: Sip and Watch

BY Nadia Dubeau
July 10, 2016
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July 10, 2016 The Tour de France: Sip and Watch

BY Nadia Dubeau

It’s that time of year again!  The Tour de France started a few days ago and here’s what you need to know…

This year, the Tour starts in Brittany, and goes down to the south, across to Montpellier, and back up the other side.  It passes right through rosé country – and we always like to follow the TDF with a glass (or bottle) of rosé from the region the bikers are passing through, kind of an homage to our compadres in the hot seat.

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We love the TDF for a few reasons.  The scenery is incredible – it’s like being taken on a trip around France from the comfort of your couch and air-conditioned living room.  The announcers are always giving interesting facts and tidbits on the history of the area, and the Tour inevitably passes through scenic wine country.  What better way to scope out your next trip??

On the 13th of July, the TDF goes from Carcassonne to Montpellier, passing through the wonderful region of the Languedoc-Roussillon, home to such delightful AOCs as Saint Chinian.  The next day, it runs from Montpellier to Mont Ventoux.  This leg covers the northern boundaries of Provence, and the south-eastern boundaries of the Rhone Valley.

Recommended pairings:

Saint Chinian:

Mas Champart Rosé – 65% Mourvèdre, 25% Cinsault, 10% Syrah – This is one of our absolute favourite rosés!!!!  The husband-and-wife team behind Mas Champart have been producing stellar rosés for years.  Meyer lemon and wild strawberry aromatics lead into a rich, creamy palate that just screams to be drunk!

Pays d’Oc:

Le Poussin Rosé  – Grenache & Mourvèdre – This pretty, pale pink wine has a lovely aroma of flowers, with a smooth, dry, balanced palate of summer fruits.  This wine comes from the inimitable Sacha Lichine (of Rock Angel and Whispering Angel fame) – his modern techniques, based on centuries of winegrowing knowledge have led to this lovely, fresh, and vibrant rosé.

Tavel:

Domaine de la Mordorée “La Dame Rousse” – This rosé-only appellation is known for making more serious, deep, dense wines.  This particular one has often been lauded by Robert Parker, and is definitely a must-try.  Fresh, dry, and rich, La Dame Rousse sports lovely notes of raspberry, orange blossom, and strawberries, with a silky palate, and a clean finish that really sets off the purity of fruit in the wine.  This is definitely a full-bodied rosé that’s a bit more complex than average!

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Photo credit: Tavel , Herault and Le Tour