Chateau Duhart-Milon Rothschild
|Listed Wines||Duhart-Milon Rothschild|
|Annual Production (Grand Vin)||22-25,000 cases|
|Classification||Quatrième Crus (Fourth-Growths)|
|Second Wine||Moulin de Duhart|
|Interesting Fact||Duhart Milon is one of few Médoc producers that does not comprise a true château; it is finished in a warehouse instead.|
During the Asian-led fine wine market bull run of 2009-2011, Duhart-Milon’s prices rocketed on account of its association with Lafite Rothschild. Its index climbed 222% in three years.
although prices have corrected in recent years, Duhart is still regarded as the best value wine from the Lafite stable and much of the brand power of the leading First Growth has a ripple affect down through both Carruades and Duhart.
Robert Parker's tasting note below for their best ever vintage (2009) nicely summarises the brand status of Duhart in the wider market place by association to Lafite Rothschild.
“Since few consumers other than Chinese billionaires can afford wines such as Lafite Rothschild, perhaps it is time for readers to take a look at Duhart-Milon, which sells for less than Lafite’s second wine. The Rothschilds have invested heavily in resurrecting this property to near super-star status, and the 2009 appears to be the finest Duhart I have ever tasted.”
Duhart Milon has long been a wine that outperforms 'critic appraisal' based on the brand power of the Lafite Rothschild stable. that said, throughout 2008, 2009 and 2010 Duhart recieved gushing acclaim from Parker with scores of 94, 97 and 96 respectively. While Duhart-Milon’s prices are unlikely to reach the heights of mid-2011 anytime soon, the wine now presents value to buyers year on year with sensible price release at en primeur.
One of the early owners of Chateau Duhart-Milon is said to have been “Sir Duhart”- a retired pirate of Louis XV whose house on the Pauillac port existed up until the 1950s. And although the estate’s origins (and early proprietors) may in truth be less distinctive, the traditional tale and “pirate house” provide the inspiration for the Duhart-Milon label.
Not much is known about the vineyards prior to the French Revolution and the first surviving records of Duhart-Milon date back to the 19th century. Texts indicate that what was at that time a relatively large estate was owned by a man named Mandavy, who produced well-known, high-quality wine. After his death in the 1830s, the estate was taken over by Pierre Casteja and the wine was classified as a fourth growth in 1855. Unfortunately, much of Casteja’s tenure was frustrated by war and depression. As a result, the Casteja family sold off large parts of the vineyard and many of the vines died. In the 25 years following 1937 the declining estate changed hands five times, until it was eventually bought and rescued by the Rothschild family in 1962.
Duhart-Milon then expanded rapidly as the family purchased neighbouring plots and undertook major draining, uprooting, replanting and installation work. 48 years on, the vines have matured and the chateau has once again reclaimed its former ranking as a Pauillac fourth growth, and an exceptional wine.
Chateau Duhart-Milon Rothschild Price Analysis
Chateau Duhart-Milon Rothschild Pricing
Highest rated vintages for Chateau Duhart-Milon Rothschild
A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Merlot, it displays an inky/blue/purple color as well as a big, sweet nose of creme de cassis, forest floor, licorice, lead pencil, cedar and subtle barrique smells. Viscous and full-bodied, it is the most concentrated and broadest example of this cuvee I have tasted in over three decades. It will be ready to drink in 5-7 years and should last for three decades or more. Consumers looking to maximize value should be checking out Duhart Milon, as this may be the single smartest purchase in this great and historic vintage!
Dense purple, with classic notes of cedar and lead pencil shavings as well as gobs of back currants and licorice, the wine has a full-bodied mouthfeel with fabulous precision and density. It also possesses a long, silky finish with moderately high tannins, but they are ripe and well-integrated. The wood is clearly pushed to the background in this dense, full-bodied Pauillac, which should drink beautifully for 30+ years. If you can't afford Lafite-Rothschild (few can)or even their second wine, Carruades de Lafite, you still have Duhart Milon, which has become a profound wine over the last 5-7 years due to the extensive amount of attention and investment the Rothschilds have pumped into this estate. This blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot is fabulous, a dead ringer for Lafite in a great vintage. (It is probably better than many of the Lafites of the 1960s and 1970s, and even some of the vintages in the 1980s.)
This blockbuster was a sleeper of the vintage long before the Rothschilds invested so heavily in modernizing this estate as well as began making a stricter selection. Close to full maturity, the 1982 Duhart Milon exhibits classic notes of creme de cassis, cedar, and flowers, medium to full body, a high level of glycerin, and a lusciousness and fleshiness that are very much in keeping with the vintage. There is a slight amount of pink at the rim, but this beauty should keep for another ten years. Release price: ($90.00/case)
The finest Duhart-Milon ever made? This structured, tannic, dense ruby/purple-tinged Pauillac offers up hints of cassis, licorice, chocolate, and earth. Medium to full-bodied with good purity, strong tannins, and undeniable elegance, it reveals a character not dissimilar from its renowned sibling, Lafite-Rothschild. A blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot, it is unquestionably outstanding, but to my taste, slightly less opulent than the estate’s ethereal 2003. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030.
A magnificent sleeper of the vintage, the 2008 Duhart Milon is the shrewd consumer’s wine to purchase by the case as prices do not yet reflect its qualitative resurgence. Composed of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot that came in at 13.09% alcohol, it is a surprisingly intense effort displaying a marvelous texture, plenty of black currant, licorice, unsmoked cigar tobacco and earthy characteristics, a full-bodied mouthfeel and stunning purity as well as density. Enjoy this top-notch 2008 over the next 20-25 years
Consumers should take note as this estate is clearly benefiting from increased attention from the Rothschilds. The 2003 may be the finest Duhart-Milon made ... ever! A blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, it boasts a deep ruby/purple hue in addition to a big, sweet perfume of black fruits interwoven with roasted herbs and meat juice offered in a muscular, full-bodied style. Full-bodied, dense, and well-structured, this stunning cuvee is best consumed between 2010-2030.
It is no longer an insider’s secret that the investments made by the Rothschild family (of Lafite) in Duhart Milon are paying big dividends. A shrewd Pauillac lover’s delight, it possesses exceptional quality, yet the price remains fair. This blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, only 50% made it into the final blend, displays some of Lafite’s classic notes of lead pencil shavings, cedar, and black currants along with more earthy, roasted herb, and spice box characteristics. Rich, full-bodied, dense, and already approachable, it should evolve easily for two decades. Good value.
Another sleeper of the vintage for this property that has been doing impressive work over recent vintages, the 2004 (a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot) displays a dark ruby/purple color along with classic aromas of cedar, creme de cassis, earth, spice, and wood. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, long, and impressively endowed, it should be at its peak between 2010-2022.
The 1990 has turned out better than I expected. It offers a classic Lafite perfume of graphite/lead pencil shavings interwoven with red and black currants, fresh porcini mushrooms, smoke, and tobacco leaf. Medium to full-bodied, soft, and elegant, it is not as concentrated as the 1982, but is a luscious, round Pauillac to enjoy over the next 5-10 years. Release price: ($275.00/case)
A strong case can be made that this is the finest Duhart produced since the 1982. The color is a saturated dark ruby/purple. The bouquet offers aromas of blackberry fruit intermixed with licorice, minerals, and dried herbs. Rich and intense, with considerable finesse, medium to full body, and outstanding concentration and purity, this should be a reasonably priced wine. It reflects the increased attention Lafite's administrator, Charles Chevalier, has been giving this nearby estate. Anticipated maturity: 2005-2020.