Released this morning, the wines of Francois Mitjavile are so unique that it should come as no surprise that he has found a way to outstrip himself in the 2021 vintage, despite the challenges of the weather, even making 100% grand vin, (when many other estates preserved quality by limiting the production of their first wine). Neal Martin describes 2021 Château Le Tertre Rôteboeuf as "an absolute stunner...one of the most energetic Tertre-Rôteboeufs that I have encountered" (94-96 points), with Galloni awarding the same score, commenting "This is just the sort of vintage that François Mitjaville excels in".
Mitjavile was in even more articulate form than usual when we visited this year, holding forth on all manner of subjects, but among them was the quality of his 2003 vintage (which we tasted, concurring) and of his 1991, which as one might imagine is now very difficult to find. No wonder, then, that in a vintage with much more inherent promise such as 2021 he was able to take advantage of the long ripening season to develop wonderful aromatic complexity and complex, layered flavours on the palate. In previous vintages we have referred to his wines possessing an intense, wildly aromatic Pinot Noir-like quality to the nose, versus an often opulent blueberry and blackberry fruit concentration on the palate and that holds true in these latest releases.
Visiting Le Tertre Rôteboeuf is like being transported to an ancient, mould-lined cellar in the Côte de Nuits. The estate has been in the family since the '60s but it was Francois who made its name, learning his trade at Figeac in the early '70s. His first vintage was in 1978 and by the '89 vintage the reputation of this 6 hectare estate was established alongside the best in St-Émilion.
Farmed organically, Le Tertre Rôteboeuf is geographically close to Troplong Mondot and Pavie, but a world away in style. The etymology of the name derives from the days when the land was used for cattle grazing, and broadly translates as 'the hill of the belching beef'.
The cool soils here slow the ripening process and this is routinely one of the last estates to finish harvest. Training the Merlot and Cabernet Franc vines close to the ground (see picture above) maximises the warmth radiated from the soil at the end of the ripening season. This contributes to the silky, glycerin texture on the palate and aromatic complexity, particularly from the Cabernet Franc.
Landing spring 2024.
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|RED||2021||Château Le Tertre Roteboeuf||75cl||£790 per case of 6||Château Le Tertre Roteboeuf
2021 / / 75cl
£790 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc. Cask sample. Less overblown than some years but recognisable house style. Rich and gourmand with mouth-filling red fruit, the toasted oak present but integrated. Fine, silky tannins and reasonable length. Early-drinking pleasure but should age a bit as well. (JL) 13.5%. Drink 2027 – 2038 16.5+ points" jancisrobinson.com (JL)------"It's a brave estate that makes 100% 1st wine in the 2021 vintage, but Tertre Rotebeouf is perfectly placed on south-facing slopes, with obsessive attention to detail in the vineyard from the Mitjavile family. One to look out for, this has rich aromatics, a touch of reduction, fleshy black cherry, smoked earth, powerful liquorice bud, rose petals and clove spice, expanding through the mid palate. Works both in terms of the estate signature and in showcasing the potential of the 2021 vintage for sculpted but still concentrated wines in the right spots. Brilliant stuff. No crushing of the grapes here but full destemming, no cold soaks, 16% press wine, 100% new oak. 95 points" janeanson.com------"The 2021 Tertre-Rôteboeuf was tasted directly from barrel à la Bourgogne. (Why don't more châteaux do this, if logistically convenient?) It has a comparatively less explosive, gourmand bouquet compared to vintages that I have tasted at this stage in recent years, featuring dark berries, hints of blueberry, iris flower and an underlying mineralité that only surfaces after 3–4 minutes in the glass. The harmonious palate is an absolute stunner. It delivers brilliant delineation and purity, one of the most energetic Tertre-Rôtebouefs that I have encountered, and a dash of black pepper on the finish. I have to confess: I had to have a sneaky sip of this. 94-96 points" Neal Martin, Vinous.com------"The 2021 Le Tertre Roteboeuf is extremely promising, unwinding in the glass with aromas of cherries, mulberries and plums mingled with subtle hints of spices, raw cocoa, espresso roast and cigar wrapper. Medium to full-bodied, ample and seamless, it's deep and concentrated, with a layered, sensual mid-palate that's supple and lively, concluding with a long, expansive finish. This is just the sort of vintage that François Mitjaville excels in, and it is worth a special effort to seek out. 94-96 points" William Kelley, RobertParker.com