From LeTour: Jean François Pescheux's view
A time to take stock: "Finally, the riders can ease off a touch and take some time to catch their breath! Our objective at this point as the organisers was clear: to give the sprinters and hopefully the baroudeurs an opportunity, because it would even better if an escape could survive all the way to the finish? Plenty of teams will already be taking stock of where they stand in terms of the race as a whole. Who is in good form? Who has lost form? Who must forget about the general classification and start thinking about stage wins? I think in some eras, a Merckx or an Hinault would have come away from Corsica with an advantage of three or four minutes and the Tour would already be as good as done! In Marseille, this year, the race should still be a lot more open."
A beautiful day in Provence. For the spectators. For the riders it is: rolling, rolling, rolling. Keep those bike wheels a rolling. Perhaps to early in the race for that, but after the stress of yesterday's team time trial, we have a stage that very well may end in a sprint finish. The big story from yesterday, at least on my twitter feed, was less the Orica victory than the he's in, he's out story of Ted King. King, riding alone for much of the route with a separated shoulder, may or or may not have finished before the time cut. The Tour said no, his personal equipment said yes. Read more here and here about #LetTedRide. I woke up this morning hoping that the decision had been reversed, but sadly, no.
My Podium Cafe Stage Predictor picks of the day suggest that I am hoping for a sprint finish: Cavendish, Sagan, Greipel and Kittel.
The Break of the day formed before live video: Yukiya Arashiro (Europcar), Kevin Reza (Europcar), Romain Sicard (Euskaltel), Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil), Anthony Delaplace (Sojasun) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana). With 150 kilometers left in the stage, their gap was around 11 minutes.
At the intermediate sprint point:
mrconde 5:50am via Web
Crusing along and a big crash in the peloton. Christian VandeVelde, the American riding in his last Tour, is slow to get up.
joelindsey 8:16am via Web
Wine: Domaine du Bagnol Cassis Rose 2012
From Frankly Wines $24.99
From Frankly Wines: Gorgeous, lean and flecked with green! This layered blend of limestone, grenache, clay, mourvedre and tag along cinsaut make for a classic Cassis. The wild strawberry nose glimmers green with a hint of snapped parsley stem. A perfect burst of unripe honeydew and citrus sit high and light on the forward palate. A flash of the layered spice of southern French tradition presents before the zing of a bright, clean finish coaxes you to the next sip. -- J
From the importer, Neal Rosenthal:
Our love affair with this magnificent seven-hectare estate, situated a short walk from the center of the Mediterranean village of Cassis, began in the early 1980s when we first met Claire Lefevre, a vigneronne of great class and character. This was our introduction to an appellation with an ancient history and a magical atmosphere.
Cassis was first planted to the vine in the 12th century and the vineyards were developed on the north, east and southeast slopes that surround the village which sits immediately on a little bay on the Mediterranean; thus, the perfect circumstances for marrying wine to the bounty of the sea! Phylloxera wiped out the vineyards in 1870 but by 1892 the citizens of Cassis had re-established their vineyards but this time without the Muscatel variety.
We worked together with Madame Lefevre from the early 1980s through the early 1990s when she passed away having reached her mid ‘80s and having generously immersed us in the culture of this small, charming and terribly chic fishing village. We were despondent for losing a good friend but equally saddened because none of her immediate family had the time or the energy to follow in her footsteps. So, the Domaine du Bagnol staggered through a few vintages and eventually was sold.
That, in fact, was a stroke of good fortune for us as we eventually made the acquaintance of the new owner, Jean-Louis Genovesi, a native of Cassis who had departed for Paris and made his fame (and a few centimes as well) in the capital. Jean-Louis and his son, Sébastien, have revived the domaine and the wines, both blanc and rosé, are more compelling than ever. The domaine sits just beneath the imposing limestone outcropping of Cap Canaille and is a mere 200 meters distance from the shores of the Mediterranean. Thus situated, the Domaine du Bagnol is the beneficiary of the cooling winds from the north, northwest and northeast (Tramontane, Mistral and grégal) as well as the gentle sea breezes that come ashore.
The Rosé is produced from several parcels that comprise slightly less than 7 hectares of vineyards. The vineyards are clay and limestone, situated on a gentle slope with a north – northwest exposure. The blend is Grenache (55%), Mourvedre (31%) and Cinsault (14%). This Rosé is vinified by “pressurage direct, the must is chilled to 12 degrees Celsius, the wine ferments at 18 degrees Celsius until it is completely dry; then, the wine is bottled during the first three months of the following year after a light filtration. Production tops out at about 40,000 bottles per annum; approximately 6000 bottles are allocated to the US market.
I say: A perfect post-jam making wine. Strawberries, flowers and minerals. A fruity rosé with a long, dry finish. It reminds me of the alpine strawberries growing in our garden.