Alberto Contador made it safely across the line with the peloton to win the Tour de France. Along with his yellow jersey, he’s also entitled to the white one. He’s a team winner too with Discovery. Go Alberto! The last guy to achieve that feat was Jan Ullrich. I hope Contador doesn’t have to explain away bagged blood in ten years time. I hope this Tour finally makes the point that cycling is clean and if you’re not you shouldn’t turn up. I hope other sports take the same tough line.
None of the drug worries should detract from Contador’s achievement, so I found the nicest amarillo/blanco Spanish wine in the house, a Marqués de Murrieta Rioja Blanco Capellania 1998. It’s a yellow-gold colour with strong legs. It smells of warm, rich American oak – toasty, nutty, vanilla.
It’s dry, with a surprising tang of wood tannins and a crisp acidity. It’s pretty full bodied for a white wine, making it a good choice for people who claim they don’t like whites (along with Vernaccia) . The flavour lingers wonderfully.
1998 was a good vintage in Rioja, with plenty of sun. Alberto Contador was fifteen when these grapes were harvested. I hope he was having fun on his bike then. I wonder if he was dreaming of today.