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Château Duhart-Milon


Address: 33250 Pauillac


Château Duhart-Milon makes extremely fine Pauillac under the Lafite winemaking team. Previously the wines were maybe a little on the elegant side and it was easy to underrate them alongside more powerful and obvious neighbours. Nevertheless since 2000 this wine has been on top form and great wines were made here in that vintage and in 2003 and 2005. Duhart Milon was good value until recently. As the investment market climbed into its big brother Château Lafite-Rothshchild so the price for Duhart trebled [at least] inside five vintages. Still things have backed off a bit recently as the Chinese market has lost steam and Duhart now represents better value. The 2009 is especially successful, though the 2010 will definitely give it a run for its money. More recently 2014 and 2016 look very good indeed.

Vineyard/Terroir: Vineyards planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Average age 30 years.

Winemaking/Elévage: 18-24 day fermentation and maceration in stainless steel tanks with temperature comtrol. 14-16 months age in French barriques, 50% new. Egg white fining, no filtration.

Tasting notes:

  • 2016 Mid depth; earthy purple at edge; beautifully delicate Cabernet perfume; spices; blackcurrants; very accomplished and polished aromatics; real fragrance; beautiful palate; poised and complete; lovely seam of pure Cabernet fruit here; blackcurrants; has genuine delicacy; succulence and texture to the palate; good acidity. Best here since the thrilling 2009 and 2010 combination. Expect this to gain further weight and texture during elévage. [67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot]. Tasted 3/4/17. Drink 2023-2036. 94-95+
  • 2015 Mid depth; earthy purple rim; little graphite; pencils; some cassis; elegance; not big; some spicy plum notes; elegant palate with quite pronounced acidity; grippy and quite modest in shape for Duhart at this stage. Needs to flesh out and fill out. [73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot]. Drink 2023-2032. Tasted 4/4/16. 89-91+
  • 2014 Deep core; full looking; purple at edge; fractionally tighter to the rim than Carruades; fine, lead pencil Cabernet nose; gloss too and some prettiness; creamy blackcurrant fruit tones here; cool blackcurrant fruit on the palate; quite exceptional fruit tones in fact; Cabernet par excellence; lots of extract and matter but held in wonderful proportion; softly handled tannins; terrific length. Exquisite Duhart. [55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot 13% alc, harvest 23-29 September for Merlot, 29 September to 10 October for Cabernet Sauvignon.]. Drink 2019-2035. Tasted 30 March, 2015 at Lafite. 93-95+
  • 2013 Mid depth; earthy purple at edge; little earthier on the nose; quite tight though; blackcurrants and graphite on aeration; some freshness on the nose; cool entry; quite tight; some chew to the tannins; lacks the gloss of the better vintages phenolically speaking; little dryness; some sap and acidity on the end; lacks a bit of generosity on the finish but will doubtless fill out more during elévage. [80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot]. Drink 2018-2030. 88-90
  • 2012 Deeper than Carruades; very blackcurrant nose; tobacco too and coffee bean hints; cassis and blackcurrant really come through on aeration; again earthy note like Lafite here; firm, quite dense palate; some leafy hints; mid-palate a fraction pinched and firmness to the tannins at the end. Good-ish length. 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot. Tasted at Lafite April 9, 2013. 90-91+
  • 2011 Deep and saturated; earthy purple at edge; vibrant; blackcurrants and black cherry; earth and graphite; tauter than last few vintages but fresh and clearly pent up; dense and tight on the palate; seam of blackcurrant fruit. Pure if tight at this stage. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25%% Merlot 12.7% alc. Tasted 6/4/12 at Lafite. 92-93+
  • 2010 Deep at centre; resinous blackcurrant aromatics; some ink; backward at first; cassis; wet rocks; compact at present on the palate there is intensity here and a tight fist of concentrated fruit – this wine has gone into its shell; reticent and closed [going the same way of the 2005?]. Very promising at primeurs but undoubtedly closed at present – leave for five years at least. Drink 2019-2035. 93+ MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Very dense; up to the rim; saturated; lovely depth to the nose; touch tighter and more pent up than the Carruades; cool and very deep; really intense cassis and blackcurrants; very pure and very focused; freshness on the palate with layers; very creamy and ripe blackcurrant flavours but with depth and length; lots of sublimation here; chewy blackcurrant finish. Lovely length. [73% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot alc 13.5] 94-96+/100
  • 2009 Mid depth; dark core and healthy looking; attractive blackcurrant aromas; cedar tones, some spice and elegance – certainly focused on the nose; nicely layered palate with real clarity to the fruit; pure blackcurrant tones and nice concentration; tightness suggests this has much to offer down the line; overall harmonious and quite a lot of material on the finish with fresh acids too. Elegant and focused with excellent balance. Is to Lafite what Clerc Milon is to Mouton. Drink 2019-2035. 95+ MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Deep saturated black; legs and tight to the rim; very fresh and ripe wine; wonderfully lush blackcurrants; very open – density too and deep; graphite and lead pencils; slightly lighter in weight than Carruades but only by degrees; very pure blackcurrant; wonderful purity of flavour; cassis, blackcurrants. Great wine, lovely length; very round. This is close to Super Second in quality and in its way nearly as good as Pichon Baron and Pichon Lalande in 2009.  94+/100 Tasted 1st April ‘10 at Duhart-Milon
  • 2008 Quite deep; cool blackcurrant aromas with cassis and pencil shavings, some leaf and undergrowth; excellent; lots of purity on the palate; blackcurrant, spice; nice chew too; very focused, pure and elegant. 92+ MW Institute Nov ‘12
  • 2007 Mid red; some development at the edge; earthy blackcurrant nose; quite weedy and leafy, not unattractive [reminds me a little of the ‘97] some spice too; polished palate, blackcurrant, leaf and undergrowth. Fairly lightweight overall. Not a bad effort. 88/100 MW Institute Nov ‘11
  • 2006 Mid depth; good colour; bit closed at first, blackcurrants and lead pencil on aeration, quite attractive and forward when it opened up; the most attractive of the Pauillac wines on the nose; blackcurrants on the palate, again quite firm, some chocolate too; good structure and tannin here, has more than enough flesh to cope. Remains elegant but very good to excellent. 90-92/100 MW Institute Nov ‘10
  • 2005 Dark black red, earthy looking; legs in the glass; creamy, ripe fruits on the nose, blackcurrants and real depth here but very pent up and needs to open; blackcurrants on the palate, elegant and concentrated with real intensity; resinous and layered feel though extremely closed and compact at present. After a few hours in the decanter the nose opened up more with graphite, blackcurrants and smoky tones but the palate remained very backward and pent up, though obviously layered and intense. Great focus and good structure with balancing acid too. Needs five years plus to open out but will age well for decades I reckon. Potentially 92-93+/100 Nov ‘10
  • 2000 Mid depth, earthy red; still relatively youthful; cedar, lead pencil; some blackcurrant beneath but not obviously ‘Pauillac’ – feels more St Julien in style; palate medium weight and quite elegant; lacks a little oomph; though well balanced and moderately concentrated. Very good. 88-90/100 Dec ‘09
  • 1997 Red; close to edge; feral edge to nose, earthy cab, reasonable substance and structure for the vintage but a lightish wine. 84/100 Oct ‘06
  • 1990 Red with some mahogany; fully mature palate with cedar and tobacco; quite elegant and mature mid-weight wine with intensity. Fine and elegant in the context of the vintage which was hot and many wines big. 90/100 Oct ‘06

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