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The grape mix is 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon with the all-important seasoning of 5% Malbec – a stunning wine and a perennial favourite. Fermentaton takes place in concrete vats before fifteen to eighteen months in oak, half of which is new. The wine tends to be dark and intense with a luscious cherried sweetness lifted by a stony minerality and a breezy freshness.
Bourg is richly steeped in history. Situated where the rivers Garonne and Dordogne meet, it was of particular strategic importance during the long and violent 100 Years War. It is believed that the cellars of Roc de Cambes, built in the 14th century, may well have played a role as a vantage point for an attack from the rear. The area is peppered with caves which have given up their military role in favour of more passive pursuits; mushroom growing and, in the case of Roc de Cambes, wine.
Once François Mitjaville had established Tertre Rôteboeuf, it was clear that its tiny production would always be a limiting factor in terms of any economies of scale. However, expansion within the great terroirs of St-Emilion would have been nigh on impossible – unavailable and, certainly, unaffordable. Through a mutual friend, François became aware of a possible property for sale in the Côtes de Bourg – an area whose reputation was largely blighted by failure to stifle naturally prolific production.
On seeing the property, the die was cast. Roc de Cambes has a wow factor in spades and despite a high price tag in appellation terms it still offers fabulous value for money. François was hooked.
Drought and cool temperatures contribute to optimal ripeness
The sum of summer temperatures in 2010 was close to that of summer 2009 (962°C compared to 982°C), but decidedly chillier than those of 2005, which totalled 1052°C. These cool temperatures had a substantial influence on the balance of our wines, preserving a good level of acidity and attractive aromatic freshness.
Very little rainfall (only 267 mm) from March to August 2010 generating a drought of similar intensity to that of 2005, when only 227mm of rain fell.
Another feature of the 2010 vintage is the low temperatures above all in the first three weeks of August, which made for the preservation of good levels of acidity in the grapes while also maintaining attractive aromatic freshness.