2008 Château Duhart-Milon, Pauillac, Bordeaux
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 02/05/2011
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.
Robert Parker- Wine Advocate- May 2011
As I have previously written, Duhart Milon has become one of the stars of Pauillac thanks to the meticulous attention to detail as well as the investments made by the Rothschild family. A blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, with the Cabernet picked during the week of October 8-15, and the Merlot a week earlier, the 2008 offers up sweet aromas of cassis, licorice, crushed rocks, and forest floor in an expressive, graceful aromatic display. Freshness, superb concentration, high but ripe, sweet tannins, and good acids characterize this dense, concentrated wine. It possesses a stunning upside potential of 25-30 years. Yet, like so many of these 2008s, the ripeness of the tannins along with the density and sweetness of the fruit suggest it will be approachable at an early age.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - Apr 2009
About this WINE
Château Duhart Milon Rothschild is a Pauillac estate owned by Domaines Barons de Rothschild that produces on average 28,000 cases of wine per year. The wine chais are located in Pauillac town and the property has a similar climate to that enjoyed by the Médoc: maritime, with the Gironde estuary and the Bay of Biscay combining to act as a climate regulator and the coastal pine forests sheltering the vines from the westerly and north-westerly winds.
Duhart Milon Rothschild's vineyards (Cabernet Sauvignon 65%, Merlot 30%and Cabernet Franc 5%) border Lafite Rothschild. Vinification includes oak ageing, up to 40% new.
Duhart Milon Rothschild is classified as a 4ème Cru Classé.
Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.
For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.
Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.
Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.
Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.
Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.
In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.
In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and Australia.
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A magnificent sleeper of the vintage, the 2008 Duhart Milon is the shrewd consumers 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.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 02/05/2011
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