Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wines of the Tour de France Stage 12: Les Roches Chinon & Kittel
218km Fougères to Tours

Never give up:  "This is a long stage (218km) because we wanted to be able to reach Lyon in three days. The finish should suit the sprinters. But it will all depend on what ambitions everyone has now? The idea that Quick Step, Orica-GreenEdge and Lotto will shackle the whole peloton in order to set up Cavendish, Goss and Greipel can't be excluded, and this scenario will automatically suit the team that has the yellow jersey. I would prefer to see some attacks, some movement... Contrary to a perceived idea, the Sky riders do have weaknesses. At the Olympic Games, they exhausted themselves on the front of the peloton chasing behind everyone. That should make everyone else believe they should never give up. Last year's winners will not necessarily be this year's winners."

A flat stage through the Loire. Paging the sprinters and those in search of lovely scenery. Indeed, my Podium Cafe Stage Predictor picks of the day: Cavendish, Kittel, Greipel and Sagan. I would really like a Cavendish win today. First of all because I am a fan, but also because the horrible behavior of some fans on the road yesterday, makes me very angry. Cav himself seems ready:

MarkCavendish 1:23am via Twitter for iPhone
Flat day today into the famous sprint town of Tours. 1st day this @letour that the weather's not been baking hot. Actually quite pleased.

Beyond that incident yesterday, the time trial clearly showed that at least for the moment, there is Chris Froome in yellow and everyone else fighting for second or third place. But there are many stages left and many things can still go wrong for Froome.

A sprint stage? Cue the formed before live coverage break, this time featuring Delaplace, Gavazzi, Mori, Flecha and Sicard. With 141k to go, their gap was 8.35.
Dull stage so far, but at least the scenery is nice.

mrconde 6:02am via Web
Looking at the peloton from the helicopter view, it seems to spell siesta... or is it just me? #tdf

#TDF: 79.7km to go, gap 4'53"
58 kilometers remaining and the bunch is approaching the intermediate sprint point. Will Greipel win again? Or will they save their energy for the finish? That question is as exciting as the stage has gotten today. 

 Willow is on top of the action today as Cavendish wins the intermediate sprint ahead of Greipel. Sagan was squeezed very close to the barriers.  45 kilometers to go and a gap of 2:30. 

mrconde 7:00am via Web
Romain Sicard caught by the peloton with 44 km to go. 4 left in front. Gap of 2½ min. #Tdf

More Chateau. I'm pretty delighted by the screencaps provided by StrawDog on Podium Cafe.

If you'd like a little entertainment, I recommend this link to the twitter meltdown of Saxo-Tinkoff co-owner Oleg Tinkov. Or maybe this:
A very amusing video of @AndreGreipel and @Greghenderson1 - you never know what you'll get out of riders on video!…

25 kilometers to go and the break still has about 45 seconds over the group.
Another lovely chateau as they get ready for the sprint:
Flecha attacks one last time. 13 km to go and he's now alone in front. At least he should get the red number...#tdf

10km to go. Watch the race proper start, but the real test comes in the two 90 degree right-handers in last 1km.

#TDF: 6.2km to go, Flecha caught.

Big crash as the sprinters set up, but behind most of the leadout trains. Ahead, they set up and it looks like Cav will have the win, but at the last moment: Kittel. Cav will be angry at himself. For the record, I think it is the bronchitis taking the edge of his speed, but that is just a theory.

SkyOrla 7:58am via Web
Eeek, close! Kittel has pipped Cavendish. That's going to hurt. Bad.
Cavendish got the best leadout he could ask for. Opened with less than 200 meters to go. But on the final meters Kittel overtook him! #TDF

Late update: Edvald Boasson Hagen out for Sky after that finishing crash.

Stage: Marcel Kittel
Yellow: Chris Froome
Wine:  2003 Les Roches Chinon 
From Selection Massale:
 By now, most of you know our commitment to drinkable wines. No trophies, no points, no overhype and no overripe. We are believers, and in Jerome Lenoir we trust, always.  
Earlier this year, we offered the 2004 Chinon rouge, instead of the current release 2003s.
Terrible mistake, that we just fixed. Being newbies in this business, we just assumed that most of our custumers would be reluctant to buy a supposedly hot vintage from a winery they know little about. Well, we now believe that you guys know, trust, and love these Chinon as much as we do, and it's time for us to prove to you that in the hands of the right people, even a hot vintage can be outstanding.
Jerome and Alain are the right people, and this bottling won't dissapoint. 12,5% alcohol, drinking amazingly well, and showing everything you've come to like from this tiny domaine working one of the best slope of the appellation.
This particular vintage was already bottled when we made our first order from them (01 and 02) and it spent the right amount of time in the Lenoir's cold cellar to finally show the style and beauty the Lenoirs have become so respected for. 
Light, see through, an almost burgundy like take on Cabernet Franc from very old vines grown on very little top soil, with roots going deep into the tuffeau and keeping all the freshness that only such old vines can get you. 

Read more from Alice Feiring here.

I say: As I said on Podium Cafe: "For Stage 12 I am drinking a Les Roches Chinon. There will be a full write-up on my blog tomorrow, as always, but a bit about it here. This wine is from a small family-owned winery located in Beaumont en Véron, which is a mere 3 kilometers from the start town. They make only one wine, a cab franc.

Cab Franc is considered the most important red grape of the Anjou-Saumur and Touraine region, so if you can’t find a bottle of this specific wine, you can probably find a bottle of cab franc from nearby. It is a red grape and tasting notes tend to include words like cherries, herbs, pepper and spices."

Spiced cherries, with pepper,  herbs and acid. Some black tea and green notes as well. I've had a few vintages of this wine in the past year and think this one is showing beautifully right now. 

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