2012 Tertre Roteboeuf
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale $144.94 (reg. $189.94)
Tertre Roteboeuf is truly unique among the great château of Bordeaux.
Proprietor François Mitjavile certainly does things his way: He purposely avoids the Saint Emilion classification, doesn’t use the Place de Bordeaux distribution, and doesn’t even use the term “château”. The unique philosophy driving the estate has made it a bona fide insider favorite, and as close to a cult wine as you’ll get in this part of the world. The legendary Hugh Johnson calls the property a “tiny cult star making concentrated, exotic, Merlot-based wine since 1979.”
We’ve managed to source a tiny amount of the 2012 Tertre Roteboeuf that Galloni calls “without question one of the wines of the vintage.” If you haven’t yet discovered this hidden gem, now is the time to do it.
The philosophy here is for each wine to be a true reflection of the terroir in any given vintage. It helps, of course, that Tertre Roteboeuf occupies some of the best vineyard land in all of Saint Emilion. Lying on the slopes of the Côte Pavie, it is surrounded by a handful of other top estates, including Larcis Ducasse, Troplong Mondot and Pavie. This terroir is recognized, and rightly so, for producing some of the world’s finest wines – and Tertre Roteboeuf may be the most authentic expression of all.
The result is unique for the region, to say the least. Chris Kissack considers Tertre Roteboeuf “a very different style of Saint Emilion…the fruit character is different, and the texture is different”. Mitjavile’s tendency is to harvest as late as possible and to keep yields low, ensuring a lot of concentration and vintage character.
Mitjavile doesn’t make a lot of this stuff, and our supply is limited. Those in the know have long looked to this estate for first growth quality at something of a discount, and more are starting to catch on. This is must-have stuff for any Bordeaux-centric cellar. Cheers!