Chateau Le Tertre Roteboeuf - 2008
Merlot, Cabernet Franc
Saint Emilion Grand Cru A/C, Bordeaux, France
08 Tertre Roteboeuf, from 85% merlot and 15% cabernet franc, has aromas of licorice, coffee, blackberry, kirsch, and jammy raspberry. The palate enjoys a sensuous display of juicy black plum and chocolate in the long finish. The wine is ripe, full bodied, concentrated, and round. The estate uses only one kind of oak, Radoux, picked for the matching grain. The property blends shortly after fermentation.
- Merlot, Cabernet Franc
|Intensity||Light bodied||Full bodied|
Château Le Tertre Rôteboeuf has humble beginnings. Having been inherited in 1961 by Francois Mitjavile's then girlfriend, she rented it out to her cousins who owned a neighbouring estate. Francois, meanwhile, was working in his family's successful haulage business but yearned for something different. After they married, they spent occasional weekends at her cousins Chateau, until they made the life-changing decision to reclaim her rightful heritage and began to establish their own estate.
Francois spent two years learning the nuts and bolts of winemaking at Chateau Figeac, and returned to Chateau la Tertre Rôteboeuf in 1977. After years of honing and perfecting their craft, the property became an overnight success in the mid 1980's. Francois is now one of the most respected winemakers in Bordeaux, and also owns Château Roc de Cambes in the Côtes de Bourg.
Château Le Tertre Rôteboeuf produces just over 2,000 cases a year from it's tiny 5.7-hectares, which is situated on a steep slope on the edge of a limestone plateau. The grapes are harvested by hand and are fermented in temperature-controlled concrete tanks. Le Tertre Rôteboeuf is then aged in oak barrels for 18 months. Yields are kept very low and consequently this is one of the most concentrated wines to be found in Bordeaux.
One very important feature of La Tertre Rôteboeuf is that the harvest is very late, giving an almost raisin-like ripeness to the wine. This is because the soil is cold and ideally suited to Merlot. Like all the best winemakers, Francois is prepared to risk rain, and thereby the potential destruction of his crop, to achieve the result he wants. His views are summed up thus: “Let us see, what soil and weather have cooked together this year, and get the best possible out of it. The miracle comes first of all from Mother Nature”.