Saturday, July 13, 2013

Wines of the Tour de France Stage 14: Sunier Fleurie & Trentin
191km Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule / Lyon

From LeTour:  Jean François Pescheux's view

Strength in numbers:  "A 191km stage that takes us to Lyon, where, on paper, there is little chance of the sprinters being in contention. Once again the exception to that rule is Peter Sagan, who has got a broader range of talent than the usual candidates for the green jersey. In addition, he should find this finish is right up his street since it is located after the Côte de la Croix-Rousse and the Côte de la Duchère. In short, it's a tricky stage, and certainly tricky enough for Lotto and Quick Step to have no interest in pace-making? Before the rendezvous with the Ventoux, there is another scenario too. A number of the baroudeurs will put a tick next to this stage. That could mean there is strength in numbers..."

Wasn't yesterday fun? I said it on twitter, and I may be kidding myself, I think a stage like that could teach a non-fan to enjoy cycling. Plus, it finished with a  well deserved victory for for Mark Cavendish after his team worked so hard to create the splits in the peloton. Interesting to read his analysis here: "
I nearly missed the final split. Kwiatkowski got me half way across and then I shouted to him to move left. I sprinted and just managed to get in the echelon. When echelons form it’s similar to falling through ice... you've got five seconds to save yourself or it's all over. I sprinted across the gap, then we were gone. We're a Belgian team and we're used to racing in crosswinds. I knew I'd be able to get it if I stayed behind Sagan in the sprint and I did."

In other twitter news, good news for a couple of my favorite cyclist tweeters:
bikejourno 5:21am via web With the contracts of @HansenAdam and @Greghenderson1 extended, @Lotto_Belisol is set to continue its #Twitter domination for some years.

As for today's stage, the word is bumpy. With seven categorized climbs and dozens of others that will make for a hard day in the saddle, it is probably a day for the break. Strangely though my my Podium Cafe Stage Predictor picks of the day: Sagan, Chavanel, Gilbert and  Kwiatkowski, do not reflect that at all. I think I picked while still under the influence of yesterday's drama.

After yesterday's exhausting day, we have our first large breakaway of the Tour. 18 riders are up the road as tv coverage starts: Bak (LTB), Burghardt (BMC), Van Garderen (BMC), Bakelants (RTL), Voigt (RTL), Gautier (EUC), Vichot (FDJ), Kadri (ALM), Brutt (KAT), Erviti (MOV), Rojas (MOV), Garcia (COF), Trentin (OPQ), Millar (GRS), Talansky (GRS), Albasini (OGE), Greschke (ARG) and Simon (SOJ). 60 kilometers into the race and their gap is only about a minute. Having missed out on the break, Euskaltel is chasing in the peloton in an attempt to bring them back. The pace is very high: as after 60km of intense racing, the average speed is still a leg-burning 48km/h.
Some fine Tour-side field art. 
With 106.6 k to go, the gap is at 55". One of seven categorized climbs has been passed so far.

It looks like, finally, the peloton has slowed their chase.  96 kilometers to go and the gap to the breakaway has stretched to two minutes. Go Jens!
mrconde 5:46am via Web
Gap of 2:25 min now. Three climbs in a row the next 30 km. #Tdf

That gap, I expect, will continue to grow. 

#TDF: 78.5km to go, 3'30" gap

Behind them, an obvious name missing from the break decides to try and catch on:
opqscyclingteam 6:27am via TweetDeck
#TDF: Cunego and Hoogerland are trying to bridge. 65.4km to go, gap 4 minutes to the peloton.
mrconde 6:31am via Web
Hoogerland has dropped Cunego. He's now just 1½ min behind the break. That guy simply never gives up. Impressive. #Tdf

opqscyclingteam 6:37am via TweetDeck
#TDF: Four categorized climbs have been passed. Three Category 4 climbs to go at km 161, km 176, and km 182 of 191km. Flat finish.

Behind, Sky leads the peloton, followed by OPQS. The break is mainly still working as a cohesive unit and things are looking good for them so far.

Willow is on top of the action again today.
Cyclocosm 6:54am via Twitter for Mac
Gap to the break nearly out to 5 minutes. I'd say this move is going to stk, with 44km to go. Not surprising, given tomorrow's stage. #tdf

 So far, a rather dull stage which is just what Sky would have ordered. At this point it is a question of when the break riders will start to attack each other. Rojas is probably the best sprinter of the group, but it seems unlikely that they will finish with all 18 together. 
26 kilometers to go and the bunch is 6 minutes back. Here comes an attack from Albasini, Jens! follows. While they are distracted, David Millar goes, but again is quickly caught. As they enter Lyon, they are still together, chatting. 15 km to go and the attacks start. David Millar is dropped. 

TeamSky 7:34am via Web

With 15km to go we're seeing lots of attacks from the breakaway. The peloton won't catch them and there's a big stage win up for grabs #TDF

Simon goes and leads through the city streets. The French have yet to win a stage this year. Will this be their day?

Julien Simon (SOJ) has opened out a gap of 27" seconds over his breakaway counterparts. Just 8.5km to go for the Frenchman #TDF
mrconde 7:45am via Web

Last 6.5 km. Only 2 corners before the line. Simon's gap down to 15 seconds... #tdf
#TDF: Gap just 10" to the chasers 1.9km to go

 Caught! And they come together. A win for Cav's roommate!
inrng 7:53am via Web
Matteo Trentin (OPQS) wins Stage 14 of the Tour de France

Stage: Matteo Trentin
Yellow: Chris Froome 
2 [Nederland] B. Mollema Belkin +2:28
3 [Spanje] A. Contador Saxo-Tinkoff +2:45
4 [Tsjechië] R. Kreuziger Saxo-Tinkoff +2:48
5 [Nederland] L. ten Dam Belkin +3:01
6 [Denemarken] J. Fuglsang Astana +4:39
7 [Polen] M. Kwiatkowski O.Ph.-Q-Step +4:44
8 [Colombia] N. Quintana Movistar +5:18
9 [Frankrijk] J. Péraud AG2R +5:39
10 [Spanje] Joa. Rodríguez Katyusha +5:48
11 [Ierland] D. Martin Garmin +5:52
12 [Verenigde Staten] A. Talansky Garmin +5:54
13 [Australië] C. Evans BMC Racing +6:54
14 [Australië] M. Rogers Saxo-Tinkoff +7:28
15 [Luxemburg] A. Schleck RadioShack +8:32
16 [België] M. Monfort RadioShack +10:16
17 [Spanje] A. Valverde Movistar +12:10
18 [Portugal] R. Costa Movistar +14:22
19 [Spanje] D. Navarro Cofidis +14:50
20 [Frankrijk] Sy. Chavanel O.Ph.-Q-Step +14:57

Wine: Julien Sunier Fleurie 2011

From the east coast importer:

The domaine of Julien Sunier is one of the most exciting new tiny properties to come out of the Beaujolais in recent years. Sunier grew up in Dijon, but was not part of a wine family. His mother in fact made her living cutting hair, and one of her regular clients happened to (auspiciously) be Christophe Roumier.
When Julien graduated from school, he had no idea what he wanted to do with his life, so he decided to go work with Roumier to "see what this wine stuff was all about". He then got the "wine bug" and spent his early twenties globe-trotting on the international wine route. His travels took him to California and New Zealand, allowing him to both surf and work harvest in both hemispheres. Upon return to his native Burgundy, Julien worked alongside winemakers Nicolas Potel in Nuits Saint-Georges and Jean-Claude Rateau in Beaune, where he solidified a passion for organic and biodynamic viticulture.
Following his stint in Burgundy, Julien spent five years managing a large negociant where he worked with growers in all of the 10 Cru Beaujolais villages. This work proved to be invaluable as it gave him a strong understanding of the various micro-climates and micro terroirs throughout the region.
In the Spring of 2008, Julien set out on his own to pursue his dream of establishing a domaine more in sync with his own ideas of organic viticulture and natural winemaking. He secured three hectares of densely planted, old-vine, hilltop parcels in the Cru villages of Fleurie, Morgon and Régnié. He is currently working to convert all of his vineyards to organic viticulture. Harvesting entirely by hand, Julien does whole cluster, indigenous yeast fermentations in concrete vats at low temperatures in an effort to preserve fresh fruit flavors and a delicate tannin structure. After the alcoholic fermentations are complete, the fruit is slowly and gently pressed over a 24 hour period using an ancient vertical press Julien acquired in the Côte D’Or. The wines are then aged for up to 11 months in 3 - 9 year old Burgundy barrels that he gets from his old friend, Christophe Roumier.
The resulting wines are exceptionally pure, elegant and without artifice. Perhaps it is the provenance of his barrels, but there is a bit of a Chambolle hand that comes through on Sunier's wines (though perhaps a touch of Morey on the Morgon?). They are at once bright, floral and high-tones but with an ethereal texture and a beguiling, long finish. While you would be hard pressed to try and delay the immediate gratification of drinking the wines young, they have the depth and balanced structure to reward medium-term cellaring.
DrVino writeup
Alice's mention

I say: Not the Beaujolais nouveau that my mother still buys every November, but cru beaujolais. Within the past few years, Sunier went from a producer I had never heard of to the one that all of my Beaujolais loving friends could not stop talking about. I, of course, had to rush out and try some and soon I too was telling everyone "Buy Sunier." I've had several of his wines and loved them all, through several vintages.

Cherries, flowers, some pepper. Elegant. One of my favorite wines to drink,  before, during and undoubtedly after the Tour.

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