Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wines of the TdF Stages 10 and 11

Stage 10: Aurillac > Carmaux
Stage 11 165.7 kilometers from Blayes-les-Mines to Lavaur


Skipping a day to keep the German post on the front page overnight. Tuesday was a day of no crashes, no significant GC changes and an upsetting (for me) ending that featured Andre Greipel crossing the line inches in front of Mark Cavendish. 


Wednesday: And a happier finish for me. Another sprinter's stage with the requisite doomed breakaway. The only real questions of the day: Would the pouring "cats and dogs" rain change things? Also, did HTC do too much work early? The answer to both was no, as Mark Renshaw gave an absolutely perfect leadout for Cavendish and he won easily. If you are not a cycling fan, a leadout man rides in front of the sprinter, positioning him for a last quick burst, almost, and sometimes quite like a blocker in football. Renshaw is the best in cycling. By the way, that effort and the one in the intermediate sprint, led to Cavendish in green, the highly contested points jersey.  


Tomorrow: Real mountains!


Stage: Cavendish
Yellow: Voeckler


Wine:  2009 Domaine Le Roc "La Folle Noire d'Ambat" Fronton $12.99     
Thanks to Greg Borden at Cheese Plus, I'm having a very Charles Neal week.                 


From the importer:
The Côtes du Frontonais is a highly unique winemaking region located on the left bank of the Tarn River about twenty miles north of Toulouse. The area is generally flat, with occasional hills that create small slopes. The subsoil is composed of ice age deposits, topped by alluvial soil and rouget, a material very rich in iron that lends a particular flavor to the wines. The typical climate of the region is similar to that of Bordeaux: warm and dry in the summer, and mild and wet in the winter.


The Côtes du Frontonais is a highly unique winemaking region located on the left bank of the Tarn River about twenty miles north of Toulouse. The area is generally flat, with occasional hills that create small slopes. The subsoil is composed of ice age deposits, topped by alluvial soil and rouget, a material very rich in iron that lends a particular flavor to the wines. The typical climate of the region is similar to that of Bordeaux: warm and dry in the summer, and mild and wet in the winter.


Jean-Luc and Frederic Ribes took over the 32 acre Château le Roc property in 1988. Frederic, fresh out of university with a degree in enology, had dreams of creating a deep, rich wine never before experienced in Fronton. His brother set out to insure that the vines produced low yielding grapes with maximum concentration. They already had a head start: soil composed of gravel and stone gave them the advantage of an excellent terroir.
After the grapes are picked, they undergo a rigorous selection: those that make the cut go directly into small concrete cuves after a partial destalking. A macération period of between 17 days and three weeks follows.


I say: Well the reviewers were not kidding about violets and licorice. Medium bodied, red berries. Looking forward to re-trying it tonight.              

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