Roc de Cambes – the philosopher's other wine


The visit and tasting that always stays most sharply in my memory after a Bordeaux primeurs week is with François Mitjavile at Tertre Roteboeuf in St-Émilion, not just for the wines but also for his philosophical stream of consciousness narrative that accompanies his reflections on the wine or the vintage. Always dapper, usually in pale, inevitably creased, linen (I admit to having coveted the waistcoat), his phrases range from the very simple, 'We harvest when the birds come to eat', to the slightly less pragmatic, 'Wine is the noble privilege of the soul, and of the soil'. 

At the start...