Château Tertre Rôteboeuf – St.Emilion

This small property, situated on a south-facing amphitheatre on the St.Emilon côtes 2 miles south-east of the village, seems as far from the grand and opulent châteaux of the Medoc as it is possible to get. More Burgundian than Bordeaux, both in the simple underground cellars where the wines are vinified and in its graceful, silky-tannined wines, it is a quirky oasis in the sometimes-sterile Bordeaux wine industry. The owner Francois Mitjaville, is one of the most passionate winemakers you will meet, and cares far more about producing wines he considers great than what certain illustrious press commentators think; so much so that he apparently told Robert Parker never to come back when he rated his 2006 vintage too low!

The wines are, quite simply, magnificent; expensive, yes, but worth every Franc. Opulent, profound, packed with personality, and amongst the best Merlot-driven wines anywhere in the world.