The Mitjavile Portfolio, 2017

I always have a sense of trepidation when I visited François Mitjavile at Château Tertre-Roteboeuf. It isn’t because I fear François, because he is charming. It isn’t any dread of the task at hand, as I have often enjoyed tasting the wines, whether they be primeur samples straight from barrel, or older vintages from bottle. Nor is it any longer a sense of timing, as I learnt my lesson on this issue a long time ago; I always visit François at the end of the day, often at the end of a week, so I need not worry about being an hour late for my next appointment as I watch François scurry about his cellars, dealing with his visitors single-handed.

Bordeaux 2017

No, my sense of trepidation is prompted by Tertre-Roteboeuf’s pitch-black cellars, and the niggling worry I have that one day I am going to fall head-over-heels down the stone steps which lead into the cellar. I imagine myself tumbling across the floor at the bottom, sending tasters, their glasses and their notebooks flying into the air, before finally coming to a rest at the feet of James Suckling or Jancis Robinson. That’s if I am still conscious, of course.

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