|Subregion||France > Bordeaux > Right Bank > St Emilion|
Francois Mitjavile's brilliant and unique wine has a different character from that of all its Saint Emilion rivals. There is almost a Pinot Noir sweetness and exceptional purity. Only available in very limited quantities. Our visit to the unassuming cellars with their mud floors and dirty walls is always fascinating and a highlight of our trips to Bordeaux. Production is around 2000 cases annually with elevage in 100% new "Radoux blend" fine grain barrels. The south-facing vineyard produces wines that are ripe but never jammy. They frequently remind us of Le Pin and sometimes even of Musigny. A top performer at the annual Southwold blind tastings.
Tasted blind. Luscious, sweet, verging on liquorice-coated rose petals. Big and apparently soft and hugely distinctive. More intense than most. Love/hate wine! 15%
Drink 2025 – 2045
Barrel sample. Very dark crimson. Intense red fruits and also intensely toasty/oaky, as this wine so often is en primeur. The fruit is concentrated and sweet but not overripe, the tannins deep and densely silky. At the moment the oak and the concentration give a very slight bitterness on the finish but I think this will disappear as the oak recedes and the lovely fruit emerges. (I tasted the 2017 straight after this and although it is still oaky, the fruit is becoming more obviously the core of the wine.) Just fresh enough, if not quite as fresh as in some vintages.
Deep purple in the glass, with an opulent, redolent nose of grilled meat, creamy vanilla, roasted plum and cherry blossom - incredibly complex and enticing. The palate is velvety and heady, with great concentration of red and black bramble fruits. Despite the exuberance there is also balance and tension, with underlying minerality, florality and savoury toasted spices. Full bodied and expansive to the finish which is long and exotic, this is a powerful, hedonistic and ageworthy Tertre Roteboeuf.
The 2018 Tertre Roteboeuf is another powerful, opulent wine from this estate that reminds me a little of the 2005 with its density and tannic structure. Cassis, graphite, black raspberries, and tons of classy oak all emerge from this full-bodied beauty that has tons of fruit and texture, a stacked mid-palate, and a big finish. It’s a massive, sumptuous, and lavishly oaked and fruited wine that’s going to benefit from 3-5 years of bottle age and keep for 25-30 years.
(80 Merlot, 20 Cabernet Franc) | 100% new oak | 16.2% alc It is always a joy to taste at Tertre Roteboeuf and, sadly, I was rather rushed this year so I didn’t manage to spend much time with the Mitjavilles as I would have liked. Nevertheless, as far as level of enjoyment per minute spent on site, this was, by far, the most successful visit of the week. Tertre Roteboeuf is always an opulent and flamboyant wine and the 2018 vintage is no exception. In spite of the seismic levels of alcohol this wine is super-smooth, and as Louis Mitjaville put it, ‘digest’. This one word sums up the elemental beauty of Tertre Roteboeuf in that it tastes cosmically beautiful but it is also a joy to drink and savour. In spite of the massive intensity and kaleidoscopic fruit this is an insanely pretty and velvety smooth wine. Heroic in all departments, I have no idea when it will start drinking let alone when it will finally run out of energy. I expect that it will perform miracles on your palate on any given date in the next half century and I guarantee that you will be amazed when you have tasted what I have had the immense pleasure of tasting today.