- Tertre Roteboeuf is François Mitjavile’s flagship estate where he has been producing standout wines since 1978.
- The grapes are grown on six-hectare south-facing amphitheater of clay-limestone soil in St-Emiliion
- Mitjavile prefers slow, even ripening and later harvest, allowing the grapes to come to full ripeness and potential expression.
- The cellar is kept at 16-17°C during winter months and naturally goes as high as 20°C in summer, encouraging aromatic development and complexity.
- The wines from this property are unique in St-Emilion, showing balance, freshness, ripeness, power, and subtlety.
Tertre Rotebouef produces wine that is like no other in Bordeaux. The wines from this 6-hectare St-Emilion Grand Cru vineyard are lauded time and again as some of the most singular in all of France. This is down to the vision of proprietor François Mijtavile, who has been at the head of the estate since 1978.
Known formerly as Château Tertre and owned by his wife’s family, François took this insubstantial plot and turned it into the source for some of the best wines in St-Emilion. Along the way, he changed the name to Tertre Roteboeuf to differentiate it from the other Tertre properties in Bordeaux. Roteboeuf refers to the cattle that used to plough the fields many years ago and the wheezing sounds they would make climbing up the sun-drenched hill.
As with all great wine, its success begins in the vineyard. A south-facing amphitheater of clay-limestone soil provides steady warming during the day that encourages slow, even ripening, conditions that allow the later harvest that Mijtavile prefers. After hand harvest and primary fermentation in concrete, the must is transferred to 100% new Radoux “Blend” French oak barrels. This particular cooperage uses the tightest-grained oak, leading to slow extraction that is meant to take place over the span of years. While the wine ages, the chai is kept at about 16-17°C during winter months and naturally goes as high as 20°C in summer. These temperatures and frequent racking promote oxygenation, encouraging aromatic development and complexity.
François Mijtavile crafts Bordeaux that are unlike their neighbors, sticking to his unique philosophy of late harvest, leaning in the degradation of grapes, especially in “off” vintages, and letting the wines dictate their final expression. He masterfully maintains balance and freshness while obtaining full ripeness. These are not wines that are simply powerful without subtlety – instead, they show intensity, personality, and refinement.