Located in the Côtes de Bourg, not far from Saint-Émilion, the first Roc de Cambes vintage was in 1998 some ten years after Francois Mitjavile—who also owns the very highly regarded, small production Le Tertre-Roteboeuf in Saint-Émilion—purchased the 12ha vineyard planted on limestone and clay. With a similar terroir to Tertre-Roteboeuf and vines that average 50 years of age, the vineyard is planted to 75% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc producing an exotic and hedonistic wine that can be enjoyed in its youth but that will also cellar well for at least 10-15 years.
Medium deep colour. Complex dried roses red cherry dried roses pot pourri aromas and flavours with hints of tobacco. Generous slinky textures, attractive density and brambly dry finish. Very good. Tasted at Ch Tertre Rotebeouf.
A wine of precision and understated intensity, the 2016 Roc des Cambes is nevertheless quite powerful and virile, both of which become increasingly evident as it sits in the glass. Ripe red cherry, smoke, tobacco, licorice and incense run through this deeply expressive, savory Merlot-based blend from vineyards in the Mitjaville family's Côtes de Bourg estate. I imagine the 2016 will drink well for a number of years, but it will also need some cellaring to be at its best.
The 2016 Roc de Cambes is a blend 20% Malbec, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 65% Merlot picked on 11 and 12 October, except the Cabernet was picked on 19 October, and matured in 100% new oak. It has a rich and opulent bouquet with black cherries, kirsch, touches of fresh fig and desiccated orange peel. The palate is sweet on the entry with a lot of sucrose-like texture, almost sorbet-like with blood orange infusing the red berry fruit. There is good structure here, plenty of fruit, much more primal than many of its peers. This was a sample that was difficult to read, so I will reserve judgement until later.
"The 2016 Roc de Cambes was mighty impressive from barrel. Bottled in August 2018, it has retained a beguiling bouquet of perfumed red plum, blueberry, tayberry and light estuarine scents, plus a tang of a cold northern sea. The palate is medium-bodied with a sweet candied opening, dark chocolate and even toffee subtly interwoven into the red fruit. The spicy finish features a healthy sprinkling of black pepper. This is an outstanding Roc de Cambes that, dare I suggest, is going to give Tertre-Rôteboeuf a run for its money. 2022-2050"
93 Points, Vinous