“If wine is a beverage of pleasure, Roc de Cambes satisfies that requirement impeccably,” once wrote Robert Parker. The 2015 is absolutely a pleasure, an overachiever of the vintage, exceptionally concentrated and fully ripe. Winemaker François Mitjavile took a chance and picked the grapes in October for this Bordeaux and it paid off. It’s one of the finest the chateau has ever produced.
Roc de Cambes wines are perhaps the best in the Cotes De Bourg appellation, rivaling those of renowned owner/winemaker François Mitjavile’s St. Emilion Grand Cru Classe Tertre Rotebouef. Located 30 km south, the terroir is remarkably similar. This vintage is stunning – creamy, rich, and dense with ripe red fruits, sweet spice, and herbs. This is a wine for those “in the know.”
Aging: 18-24 months in 50-60% new French Oak
Tasting notes: Red Wine. 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet, and 5% Cab Franc. The wine has notes of ripe cherries, coffee, vanilla, chocolate, and herbs. It finishes with earthy, black cherry notes. Ready to drink now, it will be very rewarding for those who have the patience to the cellar it for 5-15 more years.
About the winery:
Roc de Cambes is one of the top Bordeaux producers from the Cotes De Bourg appellation. In 1987, Francois Mitjavile bought the winery. He completely overhauled the 14th-century chateau to allow for modern vinification techniques. With extensive work in the vineyards and improvements to the cellar, Roc de Cambes quickly came into its own, producing about 5,000 cases a year. It is now one of the top Bordeaux producers from the Cotes De Bourg appellation.
About the region:
Cote de Bourg has a long history as a wine-producing region. It has been under vine since Roman times. The appellation lies less than 30 kilometers due south of St Emilion and shares much of the same soil qualities. The main vine planted in Cote de Bourg is Merlot, and the grape is often blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc from the region. Some Malbec is still grown there, but none is grown at the Roc de Cambes property.
About the winemaker:
François Mitjavile is considered one of France’s greatest winemaking talents, but back in 1970, he had no winemaking experience. That did not stop him from knocking on the door of Thierry Manoncourt’s historic Château Figeac and asking for a job. Manoncourt hired him, and for two years he trained and learned at Figeac. He left there to help at his wife’s family’s property in St. Emilion and eventually became winemaker there, renaming it Tertre Rotebeouf. Some in the wine world consider Mitjaville a genius because of his analytic skills, extreme confidence, and his willingness to risk everything (including waiting until October to harvest) in order to make the greatest wine possible. He produces wines with uncommon richness and body while remaining perfectly balanced. If he cannot make the greatest wine possible, he prefers to make none at all.
From cask, shortly before bottling. Dense and, unsurprisingly, closed on the nose, showing oaky black fruits and a hint of espresso. It has a voluptuous palate backed by very ripe tannins. It has plenty of concentration and spice, with a taut structure and ample energy. Good, if not exceptional, acidity but the tannic finish is immensely long. ~94 Decanter
The 2015 Roc de Cambes is dense, powerful, and savory in style. Iron, grilled herbs, tobacco, and cedar are some of the many notes that give the wine its distinctive feral personality. Energetic and vibrant in the glass, it offers notable intensity in a wild, almost unrestrained style. This especially forbidding, rustic 2015 needs a bit of time to be at its very best; I would give it at least a year or two in bottle to allow the tannins to soften a bit. The blend is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, but the Cabernet is especially strong. ~92 Antonio Galloni
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Roc de Cambes has very pure notes of cassis, blackberries, and plums with nuances of cigar box, anise, and lavender. The medium to full-bodied palate offers generous fruit, great concentration and freshness with firm, grainy tannins, and an herbal lift on the finish. ~92 Wine Advocate
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