11/29/08

Chateau La Tertre Roteboeuf ... Amazing

The history of Chateau Le Tertre-Rôteboeuf differs from others.



The estate has humble beginnings, virtually unknown until 1985 (even the 1986 edition of Féret devotes a desultory single line entry to the estate, nestled within "miscellany" section next to nobodies such as "Chateau Belille-Mondotte" and "Rochebelle".) This is a property that became an overnight sensation in the mid-1980's having spent several years honing techniques that have become common practice these days Its origins lie with a non-descript vineyard named Le Tertre that was owned by François Mitjavile's future father-in-law.



After he passed away in 1961, it was inherited by his daughter Miloute who rented it out to her cousins that lived at Chateau Bellefond-Belcier where the wine was vinified. Meanwhile, François Mitjavile was enduring a 9 to 5 job at his family's successful haulage business, courting then marrying Miloute and spending the odd weekend together at her cousins' chateau in Saint Emilion.

Unsuited to the rat race, Mitjavile made a pivotal life-changing decision and migrated with his wife to Bordeaux to reassume her/their rightful inheritance and try his hand at winemaking. After a two year apprenticeship at Chateau Figeac from 1975 until 1977 he returned to Le Tertre and suffixed Rôtebeouf in order to differentiate it from several other similar sounding estates in the area, the name deriving from a nearby hill once ploughed by cattle (its literal translation is the unsavoury "hill of the belching beef").