2020 Bordeaux En Primeur Report – Episode 5 – Tertre Roteboeuf & Family

2020 Bordeaux En Primeur Report

Episode 5 – Tertre Roteboeuf & Family

2020 Tertre Roteboeuf, Grand Cru, Saint-Émilion

I feel like I need to warm up and stretch before unleashing this mighty wine from its bottle.  Even though the TR quartet arrived in half-bottle format it seems that the Grand Vin requires more effort to lift and pour its contents such is the structure and intensity of this wine.  On the palate it is centred, brooding and ever so slightly menacing.  The nose is hugely powerful and black-fruited and even the oak notes wait their turn for the fruit to greet the palate and then stride away in its flowing robes of flavour.  This is a big wine, and a flamboyant one, too, but it has searing freshness on the finish and there is true balance here in spite of the density of exotic fruit.  Texturally, this is a fantastic treat because there is so much to hold onto and this makes Tertre Roteboeuf a hedonistic delight in 2020.  18.5+/20

2020 L’Aurage (Castillon Côtes de Bordeaux – from the Mitjaville family portfolio, owned by Caroline and Louis Mitjaville)

The perfume is so exotic I am looking around for a bowl of potpourri nearby!  The rose petal notes are terrific and this is a hallmark of L’Aurage but they are certainly pronounced in 2020 and as opposed to being too powerful and heady, they are fresh and bright and they lay over a dark core of fruit.  Hints of liquorice and plum, coupled with mint and fresh herbs give the impression of a wild, unkempt, rakish wine by contrast to the prim and proper wines which are lined up on my tasting bench and this makes L’Aurage a welcome break from the norm and this is why people flock to secure stock of this wine.  In 2020, the palate is not quite and dense or sweet-fruited as in previous, recent vintages and the cooling, green notes on the finish make this a refreshing and involving wine.  17.5+/20

2020 Roc de Cambes (Côtes de Bourg – from the Mitjaville family portfolio)

The perfume is astounding on this succulent wine with coffee beans, dark chocolate, Mirabelle plums and blackberry jelly confounding the senses.  The oak is typically strident, too, with lashings of carpentry jousting with the fully ripe fruit.  Of course, it is all in balance in spite of the overt enthusiasm of the components and, in common with the finer wines of this vintage, there is a cool, refreshing, mint-spiked finish that snaps the palate back into shape.  While this may not be the most detailed Roc de Cambes in recent vintages it certainly provides a lot of fun on the palate and I applaud its generosity and joie de vivre17.5+/20

2020 Domaine de Cambes (Bordeaux – from the Mitjaville family portfolio)

My sample bottle is pretty marked with oak, and while this wine always wears a mighty suit of oak, so this is not surprising, it takes my eye off the fruit somewhat.  Structured, powerful and suitably sauvage this is an elemental wine that lacks polish and breeding but it makes up for it in gusto and impact.  The tannins are compact and drying and so it will most likely need more time than Roc to soften.  17+/20

Scores – I have attached my scores out of 20 for each wine.  If a score has no ‘+’, this indicates a wine that is in balance and can be drunk relatively young thanks to its precocity and charm. One ‘+’ indicates a wine that will benefit from medium-term ageing (in accordance with the style of the wine), while two ‘++’ indicates a wine that should manage to make the long haul, softening and evolving as it goes.   A ‘?’ means that I am unsure about an element within the wine – this will be explained in my note.