From LeTour: Jean François Pescheux's view
A fully deserved winner: "This stage is the longest of this 100th Tour. It is also one of the most prestigious because nobody wins by chance on the Ventoux, especially not on 14 July? There are two scenarios: either a group gets away from a long way out and maintains enough of an advantage for the escapees to fight it between themselves; or the leaders shut down the race as far as the foot of the climb, transforming the stage into one enormous hill-climb! Depending on the weather, a lot of damage could be done today. Imagine what it could be like if there's blazing heat all day? Whether you're in the yellow jersey or not, if you do badly on this climb you will lose a quarter of an hour!"
The longest stage of the race. Mount Ventoux. Bastille Day. Talk about an eagerly anticipated stage. First, a video of the OPQS team car at the end of yesterday's stage. Next, some safety advice from David Millar:
3. Bike riders appear further away through a camera lense/phone/ipad than they actually are, take a long shot, not a close-up!
Wine: 2011 Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet (Herve Souhaut) La Souteronne
from FranklyWines $25.00
From Jenny and Francois, the importer: Hervé Souhaut created Domaine Romaneaux-Destezet in 1993. Hervé works 5 hectares of old and ancient vines—between 50 to 100 years-old—located on the right bank of the Rhône Valley just opposite the storied hills of Hermitage. This region is widely recognized as being one of the finest areas for wine production on the planet; thanks in part to its elevation, ancient vineyard sites and the southeastern and southern exposures.
La Souteronne Vin De Pays:
Age of Vines: 60 to 80 years old non-clone vines.
Yields: 25 hl/ha 3,000 bottles annually.
Pruning Method: Gobelet
Vinification Method: Grapes are hand-harvested & undergo a very long maceration at a low temperature—without de-stemming the fruit. The wine is fermented in wooden tanks & aged on fine lees in secondhand oak casks for eight months. The wine is bottled without filtration. Total SO2 is only 25 mg/L.
Tasting Note: Nearly purple in the glass with a garnet rim. The nose is an enticing array of strawberry, black cherry, plum, fig paste, smoky herbs and pounded stones. Buoyant black fruit dominates the palate and is followed by pretty red berry tones, and smoky minerality that is framed by a judicious note of wood. This is an elegant and dynamic old vines Gamay.
I say: One of my most anticipated wines of the Tour for one of the most anticipated stages of the race. It does not disappoint. French Gamay from a great producer, not in Beaujolais. Fresh and floral, some pepper, nice acidity. Cherries, violets, alpine strawberries, with herbs and stones. Elegant but very, very gulpable. Another wine that I could happily buy a case of and enjoy again and again.