Chateau Roumieu and Chateau Jouvente

Just a short distance from the very famous Chateau Y’quem lies Chateau Roumieu – an excellent Sauternes, the estate has about 28 hectares and also produces a small amount of Chateau Jouvente under the Graves appellation. The two appear to be separate entities but are actually produced on the same estate – here.

The chateau being just 5Km from Barsac, benefits from the mist which rises from the river Ciron to produce the Botrytis cinerea or Noble rot which is desirable for producing the best Sauternes styled wine.

Noble rot is present in the better years such as 1997, 2001, 2007, 2009, 2010-irregular, 2014-some and 2015 which are complex, but in some there is little or none: 1992, 2004. But wines from other years are not to be missed as the growers have to lower the price a little!

Sauternes requires about four times the amount of grapes to any other wine hence the elevated price, but at around 17 euros a bottle, Ch Roumieu is a bargain its’ closest at the price is the Sauternes from Clos Bourgelat. Good Sauternes starts at around 30 Euros a bottle and I’ve not tasted anything at that price that convincingly betters it.

The Jouvente is very good, but our last tasting failed to impress, their bottles may have been open a little too long. A freshly opened bottle on return for dinner at Domain Valmont completely different and set the record right as it is a very good wine. So please go and find out, Jouvente is a classic well made Graves and not to be missed and the Roumieu is a wonderful Sauternes so you won’t be disappointed!

Roumieu is best drunk with foie gras or as an aperitif at around 8-10 degrees, I prefer older wine slightly warmer say 10- 11 degrees, but a fridge is too cold and it will not be at its best. Cool it in a bucket of well water and it should be fine. It also goes quite well with summer pudding but I avoid drinking it with sweet deserts, its just too much – the only exceptions being mince pies or christmas pudding with which it’s simply amazing.

Their web sites are here:
Chateau Roumieu
Chateau Jouvente

Further information on wine searcher:
Chateau Roumieu
Chateau Jouvente

Chateau Castel Viaud – Lalande de Pomerol

Chateau Castel Viaud is a modest affair of 18 hectares with some very good wines of the Lalande Pomerol appellation. On entering the village from the Libourne direction, carry straight on at the roundabout passing the Mairie on the left – they are about 100 metres on the left along Rue des Annereaux.

Surprisingly it is open on a Sunday or it was last time we went there.

It’s a family run chateau their two main wines are:
1. An oak aged ‘eleve en futs de chene’ Lalande de Pomerol
2. Traditional Lalande de Pomerol which is un oaked so less tannin and very smooth
There is also a second wine: Eymard which I have yet to taste.

Their Lalande de Pomerols age extremely well, having kept them for a few years I’m undecided which I prefer, perhaps the un oaked by a whisker however, they are both excellent Lalande de Pomerols and well worth trying.

They also produce a Merlot which might be made with grapes from other estates as its not mentioned on their web site, be assured it’s a very good Merlot.

Castel Viaud is here and also have a website here

Further information on Wine Searcher

iPhone 3

The Lot Valley

South of the Dordogne lies the Lot valley with Cajarc located between Figeac & Cahors. The countryside is unspoilt with cracking views just about everywhere you point your camera.

We stayed with our friends Martin & Simon who run Moulin de Lantouy A peaceful rural setting with several Gites just the other side of the river from Cajarc. We stayed in ‘Le Moulin’ which sleeps 6 and is very well appointed.

The ‘Gouffre de Lantouy’ or source of the river, which is a tributary of the Lot is nearby. Water emerges from limestone caves and is very popular with divers as its quite deep.

There are plenty of places to visit with Limogne en Quercy having a market & the medieval village of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie being one of the prettiest villages in France.

The 2011 Tour de France

Shortly after we moved to France we cycled to see Le Tour pass through St Juire Champgillon.

There was a great atmosphere when we arrived and the crowds grew steadily as we waited, first to appear were the escorting Gendarmes followed by support vehicles crammed with bikes.

For more information on 2018 Tour de France see Le Tour
Also 2018 Tour de France Grand Depart 07/07/2018 Noirmoutier to Fontenay Le Comte – 189Km.

All shot with a Nikon D300 with 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 lens.
Love this shot, even though off focus, it conveys the long awaited appearance of the tour. Zoom to the reflection in the sunglasses.

Closely followed by the carnival parade of vehicles and assorted publicity floats,
Where do I apply for this job?

Pretty girls distributing sweets,

Looks like Michelin man

An ever growing crowd and sense of anticipation, even the gendarmes were smiling…
Or just wind?

The sound of helicopters pronounced the arrival of 3 breakaway lead cyclists along with a burst of frenzied cheering from the crowd:

Closely followed by the peloton in hot pursuit:

The crowd go crazy cheering, yelling: allez, allez, allez…

The streets crammed with cyclists at terrific speed

Then more support vehicles

And thats it till next year

Speed up your Nikon camera for action shots: Applies to most DSLRs.
The cyclists pass you in around 20-30 seconds, therefore speed is essential. Consider the following:
1. Use a battery grip – they generally add 1 or 2 fps, that doesn’t sound much but over 10 bursts of 5 shots or 10 bursts of 7 shots provides an increase of 20 total and hopefully more ‘keepers’.
2. Check you cameras memory speed the faster your camera writes to memory, the quicker the buffer empties ready for the next burst. Sandisk & Lexar are leading brands whose 95Mb/s SD cards & high speed flash really are worth it.
3. If you shoot raw on a 24Mp camera, a 6000 x 4000 14bit large image is around 26Mb. Consider shooting smaller images or even jpegs if the levels of PP will be minimal. If raw is essential then using 12bit instead of 14bit will provide more continuous shots.
4. Turn off the following settings in photo shooting menu, unless needed:

    Auto Distortion Control – only works with jpgs on Nikon anyway
    Long Exposure NR – noise reduction
    Auto ISO sensitivity

All impact on continuous frame rate when switched on.
Now press the shutter half way, observe the top display on the right an r with a number ie: r12 which is the number of continuous shots,
Experiment and test your set-up before you use it,
D7100 or D750 owners might like to save the setup to U1 or U2 for instant recall.

Focus: I set my autofocus to AF-C continuous with either 9 point dynamic area or Single. Group area may work to get a lock on the front runners.
Consider back button auto-focus using the AE-L/AF-L button so focussing is removed from the shutter release.
Finally, dont forget to select continuous high CH on the rotary selector et bon courage.

Any suggestions welcome, please comment & thanks for reading.