Sunday, July 20, 2014

Wines of the Tour Stage 15: Dark Clouds, Kristoff & Château de Lascaux Rosé

Where are we: Tallard to Nimes
Le Tour Link:

Tallard is 20 km (12 mi) to the south of Gap and on the road from Gap to Marseille. The A51 ends just to the south of the village at La Saulce. The village is 21 km (13 mi) away from La Bâtie-Vieille and is also home to the Internationally renowned Gap-Tallard Aerodrome, home of CERPS Skydiving Club and French military parachute training.
Specialities : Golden Delicious apples, Tresbaudon wine (Muscat white wine, gold medal winner at the General Agricultural Competition 2014 in Paris)

Nîmes is the capital of the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon. Nîmes has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire when the city was home to 50,000 – 60,000 people. Today the city is a popular tourist destination.  Somewhere there even exists a photo of me (from those pre-digital days) at the The Pont du Gard, which was built shortly before the Christian era to allow the aqueduct of Nîmes to cross the Gard river. The Roman architects and hydraulic engineers who designed this bridge, which stands almost 50 m high and is on three levels – the longest measuring 275 m – created a technical as well as an artistic masterpiece. 
Also, some trivia from Willj at Podium Cafe: "The word "denim (blue jeans) " comes from the fact that it was originally made in Nîmes. “de nîmes” = “from nîmes”"
Specialities : Costières wine from Nîmes, brandade (emulsion of salt cod and olive oil), croquants Villaret biscuits, picholine (green olive), olive oil, petits pâtés nîmois (famous miniature pies), Gariguettes strawberries

Le Tour preview: A long transition stage to round off the second week of the Tour. It appears unlikely that the sprinters will be thwarted in this majestic finish opposite the Nîmes arena. But you never know... Last year, betting on anything but a mass sprint in Saint-Amand-Montrond seemed lunacy. But then, the wind blew the race apart! Thus, a stage which looked like nothing special went down in history as one of the most thrilling in the last decade. It all goes to show that the outcome of a stage is not cast in stone, so watch out if the oft-present mischievous wind starts to blow...

The race: An expected sprint stage with the possibility of echelons? Count me in. Speaking of weather, the forecast for the day:

Not surprisingly, we had an early morning, pre-television coverage break of the day. They were given a long leash. 

But with not much action on the road, the story of the day was the weather:

Plus a bit of field art:

Crosswinds!  Echelons! Lots of riders were dropping due to the high speed of the peloton, including Porte, J-Rod and Voeckler. But as the pace slowed, with around 70 kilometers to go, Porte got back on, though many did not. 

BMC to the front and there was a lot of scrambling going on. Nice work from Nibali to join in with them.

Fifty three kilometers to go and the gap to the break was under two minutes.  As the break neared the intermediate sprint point, the rain started. Coquard took maximum points from the field, followed by Renshaw and Sagan. Ahead were slick roads and multiple roundabouts.

Wow was it dark:

Twenty two kilometers to go and an attack by Kwiatkowski. But he would be caught. Fifteen kilometers to go and the gap was around one minute. At the finish the sun was apparently out, though the roads were still wet. Ten kilometers to go and the gap was at 47 seconds. 
Wouldn't this be nice?

Hey, Tony Martin! It had been a few days since he had been on the front. Four kilometers to go and it was still a thirty second gap. One kilometer to go and 14 seconds. But they would be caught. Poor Bauer, it really did look like he might take the win. Instead, a bunch sprint. 

Stage: Alexander Kristoff

Yellow: Vincenzo Nibali

Wine: Château de Lascaux Rosé 2013  
From Dig

From the  importer:
The vineyards of Château de Lascaux have been in the family for thirteen generations. The name of the domaine, “Lascaux” comes from a limestone specific to the domaine’s vineyard sites. Jean-Benoît Cavalier took direction of the property in 1984, just after finishing a degree in Agricultural Engineering. In 1990, he consolidated the vineyards, restructured the ancient cellars, and created the official domaine, Château de Lascaux. Today, over twenty-five years later, the domaine has expanded from twenty-five to eighty-five hectares of vineyards, surrounded by three-hundred hectares of forest, filled with green oaks, pines, and garrigue. The quiet isolation of this part of the region, coupled with its proximity to both the sea and the mountains, makes this microclimate so unique. It is nestled along the foothills of the Cevennes, a mountain range that sits in the heart of the Midi. These foothills protect the vines from the cool Mistral and Tramontagne winds, and bring more rain to an otherwise dry climate.  That this temperate zone brings a long, slow ripening of the grapes only adds to the wines’ complexity. The stony soil lends finesse and freshness to his wines, giving the reds greater aging potential than Syrah-based wines grown in other Languedoc soils. The proliferation of garrique certainly is reflected in the aromatics, where notes of laurel, thyme, rosemary, réglisse, and mint are present in the wines. Jean-Benoît is passionate about supporting the richness and diversity of this ecosystem, so the domaine’s conversion to organic viticulture was a logical choice.

I say so: Oh so pale. Fresh, bright, fruity but balanced with some minerals. So easy to drink. I tend to drink rosé year round here in San Francisco (hello, cool summers) but for those in warmer climates, buy this and drink it all summer. And, yes, I mean you, Mom.

No comments:

Post a Comment