S7: Brioude to Aurillac: 2006 Jean-Luc Matha Marcillac “Cuvée Lairis” Mansois

Thin and disjointed.

That’s our first impression of this wine, and it resembles both the peloton on this stage and our viewing experience. The peloton spread out because of exciting pace and numerous attacks–a good stage. Our viewing was broken up by various work and social obligations–a good day, but it meant we had to finish the stage (and open the wine) on the next day.

As for the wine, it’s already growing on us, so maybe it’s just having a rocky start and needs some air. Perhaps by the time we actually get this post up it will have some legs.

We almost always timeshift our viewing, at least to the evening (we prefer Phil and Paul, so we record the morning live broadcast and watch it instead of the prime-time show) and sometimes on to the next day. This means we sometimes slip up and find out results before we’ve seen the stage–or more commonly, that we’re consciously avoiding seeing or hearing the results, sometimes searching online for a Tour-related fact but tryig to block off any stories about the stage outcome with a strategically-placed hand over the screen.

Well, some folks find this wine quite interesting. The sole tasting note at
Cellar Tracker enthuses:

whoa – this wine woke up with 2 things to do: kick ass and chew gum, and he’s all out of gum… the nose had good chinon funk, but minus the greens and adding in iron and blood – all i could think of was hemoglobin. also some nice ground red spices on the palate, light mouthfeel throughout, and some rhone-like fruit hiding in there. weird finish though, turning watery with the flavor/sensation dropping into a hole, but coming back out with a subtle acid kick – maybe more like a handshake.

We certainly found the mouthfeel light, and agree about the drop-out finish. The blog Vinicultured has a well-written description of eating it with a crab and pasta dish that doesn’t match our experience but certainly seems conceivable:

lighter bodied–almost like a gamay–with an opaque, raspberry color. The hints of paprika and spices were there in the nose and present upon the tasting. Good berry fruit, persimmon, a dash of pepper… light tannins. I chilled it in the fridge for about 15 minutes before drinking, which made it very refreshing. Excellent wine–not crazy-complex but unusual and satisfying.

There was just a piece in the NYT about chilling reds, and it does seem like this could be a good candidate for that. And airing it a bit and having a cracker with some smoked whitefish did bring out some more interest for at least one of us. And Vinicultured also points out that this is unusual for being a %100 Mansois…

And here’s a toast to Big Maggie Backstedt, a favorite of Phil and Paul, a Swede, and a Garmin-Chipotle rider, who sadly missed the cutoff at the end of the stage…

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