Antonio Galloni recently released his in bottle scores for 2016 Bordeaux for Vinous. There’s more to come from us soon on the 2016s (in particular see here if you haven’t yet seen details of our big en primeur tasting on March 7- definitely one not to miss)
However in the meantime I wanted to highlight just one wine today. The absolutely remarkable, peerless, unique, magical, tiny production, one hundred pointer: Tertre Roteboeuf.
That we have this to offer today at a market busting price I owe to our esteemed Wine Director and Burgundy loon Ian Halbert. I buy pretty much every single bottle of Bordeaux that goes through Gordon’s, but anyone that knows Ian will know that he gets a little excited sometimes, and when he gets excited there’s no stopping him. When he tasted this wine with me in Bordeaux in the spring of 2017, he had a look in his eyes that suggested he’d fallen in love, and he would not stop talking about it. Once the wine was released (at about 4am in the morning), Ian immediately pulled the trigger on as much of this as he could buy. Not a massive quantity given that total production is around 2000 cases from just six hectares, but enough that we still have seven cases left to sell. Not bad when you consider that that’s approaching 0.5% of the total made…
Tertre Roteboeuf is an extraordinary wine year in year out, and in a year like 2016 it is almost beyond belief. Particularly following this score, in years to come this will be frankly impossible to get hold of, let alone at its original release price, at which I am thrilled (and grateful to Mr Halbert) to be able to offer it to you today.
2016 Tertre Roteboeuf, St Emilion
The 2016 Tertre-Rôteboeuf is flat-out stunning and also one of the wines of the vintage. Rich, deep and explosive, the 2016 possesses remarkable depth and intensity from the very first taste. The 2016 is exotic, full-throttle and unapologetically hedonistic. At times, Tertre-Rôteboeuf can be a bit rough around the edges, but the 2016 is totally sublime. In a world in which so many wines are copycats, Tertre-Rôteboeuf is an original. And the 2016 is a great, emotionally moving Tertre-Rôteboeuf. This is a magnificent effort from François and Nina Mitjavile. Don't miss it! 100 pts., Antonio Galloni, Vinous
More about the Wine:
The unique Mitjavile style is caused by an obsession with purity and intensity. They want the land to speak for itself to the extent that for many years they intentionally had their own chateau names considerably smaller on the label than those of the region, believing that all they were really doing was expressing that origin in a natural way.
They make that expression in their own way, very much marching to the beat of their own drum. They pick later than most, but retain remarkable freshness, partly because it doesn’t take long to harvest a 6 hectare vineyard. They age their wines (for 2 years, longer than pretty much anyone else) before bottling at 68 degrees, a temperature which would horrify many. The result is a far less reductive, more oxidative ageing than pretty much anything else in Bordeaux. The Mitjaviles believe that this causes and more complex ageing to occur once the wine is in bottle, and it’s hard to argue.
They’re not officially speaking part of the biodynamic movement but the vineyards look like they are, as they’ve been following organic and sustainable practices for decades. No green harvesting, and the soil is covered with wild flowers and other natural coverings.
There’s all sorts of other goings on here, but the end result is a wine that is insanely delicious, and an unusual combination of concentration and complexity. The wines of the Mitjaviles are pretty big, powerful and intense, and yet also ooze personality, freshness, distinctiveness and complexity. There is nothing quite like them, not just in St Emilion or in Bordeaux, but anywhere in the world.