Monday, July 9, 2012

TdF Stage 9: Time Trial Time
From LeTour:

A clearer picture

"How shall I put it? A crucial stage riddled with heritage sites and tourist landmarks. I mention heritage and tourism because it starts from the Royal Salt Works, which date from the time of Louis XV. The stunning pictures will be broadcast in 190 different countries. And I say it is a crucial stage because, after ten days of racing, the time trial will give us a much clearer picture of the state of affairs. The beautiful course is similar to the stage around the Lac de Vassivière a few years ago. We chucked in a climb which will no doubt sap cyclists' legs. We chose this terrain to make it easier for strong riders to prevail."

A time trial: arc-et-Senans to Besançon! This is what non-fans imagine, I think, when they picture cycling: a man, an open road and a clock.  My bet was on Cancellara and for a while that looked good. But then. . . Race leader Bradley Wiggins won in a time of 51:24 with teammate Chris Froome in second at 35 seconds. This moved Froome up to third in the gc. 

Cadel Evans  lost time at each time check point before finishing 5th, 1:08 behind Wiggins. Vincenzo Nibali who started the day in third place overall managed to limit his losses, finishing in 8th, 2:07 down on Wiggins, and now lies 4th in the race for yellow. 

Tomorrow, they rest. 

Stage: Wiggins:


Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 39:09:20
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:01:53
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:02:07
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:23
5 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:03:02
6 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan 0:03:19
7 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:04:23
8 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:05:14
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team 0:05:20
10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:05:29


Wine:  Cremant du Jura 08 Domaine Labet 

From the importer:
 The Jura is located only about an hour east of Beaune which makes one think that the wines should be more internationally known than they are. These wines that have existed for centuries, but the region where they are grown has become smaller. Before the phylloxera, vineyards in the region totaled 46,000 acres: today, it is one-tenth that.
So what makes these odd wines so unique? Like most wine regions, the soil, the climate and the grapes. On a geological level, the Jura has a long and complex history. During the Jurassique and Cretaceous periods (65-230 million years ago), the Jura was covered with a shallow sea. This sedimentary period saw various debris harden.
At the beginning of the tertiary period (25 to 65 million years ago), the sea retreated. Caverns formerly underwater caved in and crumbled, resulting in rocks, sand and silt. At the end of the tertiary era, the Alps and the Jura mountains rose, folding sedimentary cover over the edges of Bresse. The major features of the landscape were formed during this period.
The collapse of the Jura mountains under the effect of the alpine push at the end of the tertiary era upset various geological layers causing a wide diversity of soils. For the last 5 million years, glaciers have covered the Jura and eroded the peaks and valleys.
Today the region has two major soil types: Marl is a soil containing a high proportion of clay sediment that collected at the bottom of the ocean during the Jurassique and Cretaceous periods. There are different colored marls because of the presence of other organic or mineral elements. In fact, a number of different colors can be found including blue, white, red and black. In general, marl soils are sticky and somewhat difficult to work. They are naturally rich in mineral and organic elements, although these elements are not easily assimilated by the vine. They do, however, provide slow but regular growth and moderate vigor.
Limestone is a sedimentary rock that dates to the same period as marl. Limestone is often found in pieces, having broken off or eroded from larger chunks. Limestone has good drainage capabilities and, unlike clay, does not stick together when it rains and reheats quickly in the spring. Wines from limestone tend to show a tense minerality and good structure, but can be somewhat dry on the palate.
The climate is one of extremes, often harsh in the winter and relatively hot in the summer with sunny days extending into the autumn. The grapes are normally grown fairly high off the ground to protect them from the humidity rising from the damp soil. The five major grapes of Jura are Poulsard, Trousseau, Savagnin, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Crémant du Jura Rosé: The Crémant de Jura appellation was established in 1995. These wines are made like Champagne, with a secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle. The cremant rose is made with pure pinot noir, fermented in 228 liter barrels. Skin contact takes place for four or five days until the desired color is acquired. The wine rests on its fine lees for eight months and undergoes a full malolactic fermentation. The wine is given some liqueur d'expedition (yeast and sugar) and bottled, and their interaction makes the secondary fermentation take place in bottle. After 24 months, the bottles are riddled over a period of 3 weeks and finally disgorged, given a small dosage and corked.

I say: Small fine bubbles. Visiting friend says "This does not taste like anything I ehave ever ha before." Colorwise, it kind of looks like an orange wine in the glass. Nutty and yeasty.

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