|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 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.
The 2017 Tertre-Rôteboeuf has Saint-Émilion blood pumping through its veins, although this 2017 has tones of Left Bank, subtle cigar box and smoke aromas infusing the tightly knit red fruit, a faint marine influence in the background. The palate is silky smooth on the entry with a fine line of acidity, quite savory in character with cracked black pepper and a touch of spice on the persistent finish. There is a nice "bite" to this Tertre-Rôteboeuf and it should give over 20 years of drinking pleasure. Drink 2024-2048.
Tasted blind. Deep ruby garnet. Sweet spices, cured meat and luscious brambly fruit on the nose – this is immediately evident as Tertre Roteboeuf. Ripe, full bodied and soft, it is full of charred wood and cedar. This is matched by luscious red fruit and hints of blackberry. Nutmeg and clove endure with fruit on the finish. This is another success of the idiosyncratic style here – but you have to be a fan of what the Mitjaviles are trying to achieve. I, personally, am.
Drink 2024 – 2040
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2017 Le Tertre Roteboeuf offers up gorgeous wild blueberries, crushed blackcurrants and redcurrants notes with touches of lavender, violets, Sichuan pepper and cloves plus a waft of anise. The medium to full-bodied palate is very firm with ripe, grainy tannins and wonderful freshness and depth, finishing very long with some exotic spices coming through.
As on the other wines from the Mitjavile family that are aged in 100% new Radoux Blend barrels, in this vintage the oak and a charry character seem more noticeable than usual, though here it is offset by the pretty red fruit that is waiting in the wings: succulent, sweet dark-red and plum fruit. Juicy and fresh but does need to see the oak recede. The tannins are deep yet many-layered and fine. Rich and long.
An incredible, fragrant nose here of truffles, morello cherries, cassis and summer pudding. The palate has a kaleidoscopic array of flavours, with fresh leather, truffles, succulent forest fruits, and even a little roasted game. The texture is thick and rich, but the ultra-fine, ripe tannins mean that this is more of an undercoat to the unctuous and generous fruit. This expands on the finish, with fresh acidity providing just the right lift to the sweet and exotic spices and fruits, restoring focus and precision. A magnificent wine in 2017, and a true highlight of the vintage.
The nose has a fragrant charm with mainly red fruits the start of the palate light. It fills out in the middle the fruit sweet layers of black and red fruits supported by fine tannins. Lighter at the back the finish is long fragrant stylish. 2026-39
Dynamic, graceful and refreshing, this is a stellar vintage for Tertre Roteboeuf on account of the unique vintage conditions. It is so packed with flavour and yet this is a fabulously tender and musical wine. It is very rare to find this balance – a cold summer, but which also has perfect ripening has resulted in a rich and hedonistic wine but with a core of coolness and vivacity. A wine that is full of anomalous traits, this is a spectacular experience because there is so much going on, constantly twisting and turning around a core of exquisite freshness. I could still taste it an hour later.