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 Château Lafite. The vineyard covers 188 acres and is planted with the classical Médoc cépages: Cabernet Sauvignon (67%), Merlot (33%) and a small amount of “Petit Verdot.”
Pauillac (Bordeaux), France
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, summer saw less sunshine than usual in July, and August was very wet. Right before the plots were 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 affected plots 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, andfrom 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 aged for 18 months in barrels crafted at the Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) cooperage, 50% new barrels and 50% barrels of one use.