Mitjavile Magic! An Exciting New Saint Emilion Discovery

By Stephen Browett, Chairman

Here at Farr Vintners we are constantly on the look-out for new and exciting wines and it’s always a special moment for us when we are first to find an undiscovered gem.

As most of our customers will know, everyone here is in love with the utterly brilliant wines made by the Mitjavile family at Le Tertre Rôteboeuf. Our annual pilgrimage there is always one of the highlights of any trip to Bordeaux. There are only two issues with Le Tertre Rôteboeuf - the price en primeur is now around £1500 per dozen and the second problem is that we can’t get enough of it! On our most recent visit, I asked Louis Mitjavile if anything new was happening and my ears pricked up immediately when he mentioned a new Saint Emilion project in which he was heavily involved, literally just down the road.


Naturally I made further enquiries and soon found out that Monsieur Mitjavile is making the wine at Château Alverne, alongside Lionel, the son of the owner François-Marie Wojcik. Lionel, himself a graduate of the Faculty of Oenology at Bordeaux University, describes Louis as his “guru” and he runs his vineyard and winery exactly to the Tertre Rôteboeuf philosophy, albeit on a terroir lower down the slope. The wine is aged in 100% new “Radoux Blend” barrels for around 20 months before bottling, the same as Le Tertre Rôteboeuf. Only 850 cases are produced annually from the tiny 1.8 hectare vineyard and until now it has been sold only to top restaurants in France.

So far so good. On my next trip to France I caught up with Louis, Lionel and François-Marie. We tasted the wine and I was bowled over by how good it was - and how reminiscent it was in taste to the great Le Tertre Rôteboeuf.


The next step was to do the brutal Farr Vintners blind taste test. This is how we judge potential additions to our list – by serving a newcomer blind against established big names. I didn’t tell anyone what I was up to and we presented our sales and purchasing team with four unmarked decanters. They didn’t know what they were tasting but they loved all four wines.
To make it really tough for Alverne, their two vintages were up against a Figeac and a Tertre Rôteboeuf. Bearing in mind that these two are much more expensive wines, I was delighted that the team were so impressed with the bottles that turned out to be Alverne. When I then told them the price, I was given one clear and simple instruction – “go and buy all that you can!”

As a result, I am delighted to announce that we are now the exclusive importer for the UK and Hong Kong markets for this very exciting new wine. The gorgeous 2014 (that is drinking very well now) and the outstanding 2015 (already impressive but ideally needs more time) are both available to order today and our stocks of each vintage will arrive at Octavian at the end of October. Of course, availability is very limited and I urge you to order as soon as possible. You can be assured that everyone in our office is itching to buy some too!

Minimum Order – 12 bottles
Both vintages will be physically available for delivery from the end October/early November

Special Offer
Buy 12 bottles of each vintage for a total of £650 instead of £680
Click HERE to take advantage of the offer



2014 Château Alverne

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Price
Per Score Help
Bordeaux2014AlverneBT225320.00cs16.5 FVAdd to Basket
Bordeaux2014AlverneMG10330.00cs16.5 FVAdd to Basket
All prices exclude UK duty & VAT and all wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

The Alverne 2014 has a seductive, smokey nose of spice and vanilla with a hint of black truffles. On the palate it is delightfully smooth and round. The texture is velvety and soft with well-integrated and melted tannins. Lovely balance here with ripe blueberry fruit and toasty oak. Whilst youthful, this can already be enjoyed with an hour in the decanter. A delightful and exotic Saint Emilion that is ripe, sweet and charming, very much in the Tertre Roteboeuf style. Drink 2017 -2027.

16.5 points, Farr Vintners


2015 Château Alverne

Colour Region Vintage Wine Size Cs Bts GBP
Price
Per Score Help
Bordeaux2015AlverneBT200360.00cs90 DSMAdd to Basket
Bordeaux2015AlverneMG20370.00cs90 DSMAdd to Basket
All prices exclude UK duty & VAT and all wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. E&OE.

Deep ruby in the glass, there is an expressive nose of coffee, dark cherries, pain grillé and sweet spices. The palate is juicy, round, and smooth, with silky and refined tannins framing a ripe core of black fruit. Nutmeg, smoke, and sweet vanilla add layers of complexity as the wine builds power through the mid palate, finishing with a long and spicy finish that reveals yet more forest fruits. This is an approachable wine, but the length and structure will merit cellaring over the next 5-10 years. Succulent and opulent but not at all jammy. Smooth as silk and bearing all the hallmarks of the unique Mitjavile magic. What a find this is!

17 points, Farr Vintners

Seductive and slightly exotic aroma, with ripe but fresh red and black fruits and spice, even a hint of cinnamon. Rich and spicy on the palate too, a certain decadence, but no excess weight, the tannins already remarkably supple but not wimpy. You can smell/taste the expensive oak but it is much less obvious than you might expect – as with other Mitjavile-signature wines in which the more red-fruited character of the wines seem remarkably able to stand up to, and benefit from, tight-grained new oak. Likely to be drinkable relatively early but also age well.

16.5 points, Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com



Minimum Order – 12 bottles
Both vintages will be physically available for delivery from the end October/early November