|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.
The 2019 Le Tertre Roteboeuf is a terrific success from the Mitjaville family. This amphitheatrical vineyard on the clay-limestone slopes of Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, planted with low, cordon-trained vines, has delivered a striking wine that wafts from the glass with aromas of cassis, blackberries and cherries mingled with notions of violets, cigar box, sweet spices and loamy soil. Full-bodied, layered and concentrated, with a deep core of fruit, velvety tannins and lively acids, it will richly reward a decade and more of bottle age. Interestingly, proprietor François Mitjaville contended that 2019's distribution of rainfall had tended to invert the usual stylistic distinction between Tertre Roteboeuf and Roc de Cambes, his wine from the Côtes de Bourg; yet, on the day of our tasting, geology trumped weather, because as usual the former was more sensual, the latter blockier and more structured. Drink Date 2027 - 2057
Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the 2019 Tertre Roteboeuf slowly unfurls to offer profound scents of stewed black plums, boysenberry preserves, and fruit cake, followed by suggestions of Indian spices, Ceylon tea, and fallen leaves with a touch of iron ore. The full-bodied palate is simply magic, featuring a beautiful core of black fruit preserves accented by loads of mineral and earthy sparks and framed by velvety tannins, finishing very long and fragrant. Stunning.
Tasted blind. Some evolution at the rim. Very obviously Tertre with its opulence and full-blown character on the nose. So soft yet almost unspittable in its appeal – with the rich floral nature plus a bit of dry spice – cumin? Full marks for providing something outside the norm, even if it’s not the most refreshing! 14.5%
Drink 2025– 2040
Yields were slightly down in 2019 at 33hl/ha. The blend is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, which will be aged as usual in 100% new French oak. Deep purple in colour but remarkably fragrant and lifted on the nose, with redolent cherry blossom alongside riper brambly fruit. Superb aromatic intensity and complexity, with sweet, layered spices in harmony with the fruit. The palate manages to find balance between exotic, ripe fruit and lifted, floral freshness. The tannins are crunchy but ripe and layered with sweet spices and smoke. A multi-dimensional, complex and very fine Tertre Roteboeuf. Very long on the finish.
80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Barrel sample.
Touch of reduction but also some compelling dark fruit, chocolate and liquorice notes. Rich but a little subdued on the palate, the fruit seductive but less aromatic than usual. Freshness of the vintage apparent. Firm, slightly hard finish. As with Roc de Cambes in need of racking. Provisional score. (JL)
Drink 2026 – 2040