2021 Chateau Tertre Roteboeuf Saint-Emilion Grand Cru #901065985


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Tertre Roteboeuf vineyard in St. Emilion

About Tertre Roteboeuf

Tertre Roteboeuf, an emblematic estate in the Bordeaux region, has been in the same family for generations. The modern chapter of this estate started with François Mitjavile, who initiated his winemaking journey at the Chateau Figeac in 1975. A couple of years later, he returned to his wife's family estate, Tertre Roteboeuf, anointing it with a distinct name that translates to "Hill of the belching beef," a tribute to its past as a cattle grazing ground.

Mitjavile's first vintage came in 1978, and he promptly began aging the wine in a portion of new French oak, a practice continued today. This shift to 100% new French oak, alongside late harvesting and reducing yields, marked a significant transition from the traditional methods of the previous generation.

The vineyards, spanning 6 hectares, sit on a southeast-facing hillside graced with natural drainage and a clay-limestone soil composition. This "cold soil" offers an environment where the grapes reach optimal maturity very late, contributing to the unique character of Tertre Roteboeuf wines. The vineyard is planted with 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc, and the Cabernet Franc vines are approximately 50 years old.

Tertre Roteboeuf's vine management also stands out: their vines are trained to be closer to the ground, creating a warmer microclimate than neighboring vineyards, aiding grape ripeness and maturity. Their use of the cordon system, eschewing the commonly adopted Guyot method, contributes to this unique terroir.

Vinification occurs in traditional cement vats, with malolactic fermentation happening in barrels. The cellar's unusually high temperature during aging — up to 20 degrees Celsius — promotes better and earlier integration between the new oak barrels and the wine.

Tertre Roteboeuf operates outside the typical Bordeaux system, selling directly to importers and merchants. They also remain unclassified, despite easily qualifying for Premier Cru Classe status. Their wines, characterized by a powerful crushed raspberry and mineral perfume with black cherry, licorice, and kirsch nuances, possess a richness and plushness unique to the estate.

François Mitjavile's approach of seeking late harvest and low yields reflects his quest for a genuine expression of each vintage's character. He challenges conventional winemaking norms with bold decisions, emphasizing the personality and character of the soil. As such, Tertre Roteboeuf wines, an epitome of Francois Mitjavile's love for winemaking, courage, and innovative risk-taking, have carved a unique niche in the world of Bordeaux wines.

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