François Mitjavile’s approach was to coax optimal quality in a region with great, but often unrealised, potential.
Bourg lies at the confluence of the Garonne and Dordogne rivers. Here the owner François Mitjavile discovered a property where there are resonances of his renowned Saint Emilion Grand Cru estate Tertre Roteboeuf - though on a larger scale.
François' philosophy involves an instinct and understanding of the rhythms of the vineyard. There is no room for dogma here.
Yields are generally low - but that is not the goal - nor is late harvesting, for which has gained a reputation. He picks when he believes the grapes are ready to be picked and that might be before or after others depending on the vintage.
The Côtes de Bourg is a region with great, but often unrealised, potential and François very individual way of working soon unleashed a wine which sits easily amongst the greatest wines Bordeaux produces.
Roc de Cambes sits in a natural amphitheatre overlooking the Gironde estuary. It is planted on the most highly reputed slope of the Côtes ("les Croutes") where the heat of the sun on the slope is regulated by the effects of the estuary, permitting regular growth and wonderfully ripe, concentrated fruit.
Roc de Cambes, in the Bourg-Côtes de Bordeaux appellation, lies some 45 minutes to the north-west of Saint-Émilion, on the banks of the Dordogne. It is over twice the size of its ‘big brother’ Tertre Roteboeuf, comprising 14 hectares of old vines, with an average age of over 40 years. Here too, the vines are planted in a natural amphitheatre, overlooking the Gironde estuary.
Roc de Cambes lies on the ‘Les Croutes’ slope, where the heat of the sun is tempered by the adjacent river. Cool clay-limestone soils take time to warm up in the spring so that late ripening is the norm. As at Tertre Roteboeuf, François makes just one wine here. The plantings are 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.