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 visits 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.
Even better, the magical 2016 Le Tertre Rôteboeuf is another heavenly wine from François Mitjavile that flirts with perfection. A normal blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc brought up in new oak, its deep purple color is followed by a huge nose of sweet cassis, caramelized blackcurrants, toasted bread, espresso, and smoked herbs. Full-bodied, deep, and powerful, it just dances on the palate with no sensation of weight or heaviness, has remarkable purity of fruit, and is perfectly balanced. It should be drinkable in 4-5 years and will cruise in cold cellars for 2-3 decades. Bravo!
Very rich and heady. Rich and round and lovely. Completely different in structure from all other St-Émilions. Round and voluptuous. Thick and sweet but not heavy. Hugely sensuous.
A mix of fragrances the nose has charm the palate a mix of red and black fruits layers of complexity. The mid palate is plush fleshy and rich fine integrated tannins supple richness towards the back. Fresh fruits give a lighter feel on the finish which is stylish and long, fragrant and elegant. 2026-39
Some critics have listed this among their favourite wines of the vintage, but it’s a little ripe and over the top for my taste. Dense, sweet and figgy, with vanilla-scented oak, slightly pruney tannins and just enough acidity for balance. 2020-24
The 2016 Le Tertre Roteboeuf is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc cropped at 35 hectoliters per hectare between 14-18 October. This year I was hosted by François' daughter Nina Mitjavile, who has been working alongside her father for several years. It has a wonderful bouquet, very pure and fresh. I anticipated that François Mitjavile might have been tempted to pick a little later like others, but it was an assiduous decision to have the fruit in the vat by the 18 October and lock in that freshness. The palate is very well balanced with fine tannin, extremely well judged acidity, the new oak present at the moment but in proportion with the fruit. This is a stylish Le Tertre-Rôteboeuf, very sensual and luxuriant with layers of crushed strawberry, blood oranges and raspberry fruit. In a word...irresistible.