Tertre Roteboeuf was unknown 20 years ago, but since then it has become a cult wine producer in St. Emilion and the price of Tertre Roteboeuf has gone up significantly. Owned and operated by Francois Mitjavile since 1978, Tertre Roteboeuf is from a 5.7-hectare vineyard of 85% merlot and 15% cabernet franc grapes on an 18th-century estate that Mitjavile inherited from his father-in-law. The original chateau was known as Le Tertre, but that was too similar to the many other chateaux also using Tertre in the title, so he added "Roteboeuf" (which roughly translates to "belching beef") to set himself apart from the pack. A marketing tactic that definitely works for me, as I can never forget the name of the "belching beef" chateau.
While Mitjavile got his start in winemaking with a two-year apprenticeship at Chateau Figeac, he has developed a style all his own that is popular among all critics, because he has been able to achieve consistent excellence in body and elegance. He transitioned the wine aging to new, French oak, began picking the grapes late when fully ripe and sometimes seemingly fragile, and implemented organic, sustainable farming methods. As a result, from the 1989 vintage onward, Tertre Roteboeuf has received incredibly high demand for its wine that is typically described as suave, exotic with smooth, caressing tannins. Delicious and worth every penny!!
And if you like the wines from Francois Mitjavile, but are looking for something more affordable, try his other two brands: Roc de Cambes and Domaine de Cambes.