DOMAINES BARONS DE ROTHSCHILD (LAFITE)
Château Duhart-Milon 2011
The Rothschild family acquired Château Duhart-Milon, a “4er Cru” in the 1855 classification, from the Castejas of Pauillac, in 1962. The property was named after the Sieur of Duhart, gun-runner to Louis XIV, who originally owned the property, and from the name of the little hamlet of Milon which separates the Duhart-Milon vineyard from that of Château Lafite. The vineyard covers 188 acres and is planted with the classical cépages of Médoc: Cabernet Sauvignon (67%), Merlot (33%) and a small amount of “Petit Verdot”.
75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot
The weather conditions were unusual this year and required all of our technical teams’ vigilance and expertise. Spring was exceptionally hot and dry, resulting in an acceleration of the growth cycle, and then the summer saw less sunshine than usual in July, and a wetter than average August. Finally, just as we were getting ready to harvest, a huge hail storm hit on September 1st in the north of Pauillac and Saint Estèphe resulting in the reorganization of harvest schedules. The plots that had been affected had to be picked first. Fortunately, the grapes had ripened early and had great quality. Harvests took place from September 5th - 13th for the Merlot, and from September 13th - 21st for the Cabernet Sauvignon.
Pumping-over and the maceration time were adapted according to each vat, the origin of the plot and the level of maturity of the tannins. Alcoholic fermentation took place in concrete and stainless steel temperature controlled vats. Maceration lasted 15-20 days, and malolactic fermentation was carried out in cement and stainless steel vats. The wine was then aged for 18 months in barrels coming from the Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) cooperage, 50% new barrels and 50% barrels of one use.
A delicate wine with some woodiness, but yet very refined and doesn’t dominate. The fruit is subtle and develops after the wine has had some time to breathe. The powerful attack makes way for a rounded, full-bodied mid-palate before finishing on fresh, slightly spicy notes that are a little intense. This wine will benefit greatly from 6 to 8 years in the cellar.