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Chateau Duhart-Milon 2016

Bordeaux Red Blends from Pauillac, Bordeaux, France
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Winemaker Notes

Blend: 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling
Enticing aromas of crushed berries, blackcurrants, sweet tobacco, hot stones and licorice follow through to a full body, chewy and dusty tannins and a long, flavorful finish. A juicy and savory young 2016. Try after 2024.
D 95
Decanter
I remember how delicious this was at en primeur, and it remains a stately, elongated, perfectly poised Pauillac. It's austere, certainly, but is also full of rich fruit pared down by a slate texture, the sense of minerality scraping along the palate as you approach the blackcurrant leaf and tobacco finish. It's excellent quality, and clearly a vintage that suits the personality of Duhart - juicy but restrained. Matured in 50% new oak.
JD 94
Jeb Dunnuck
Ranking with the finest vintages of this wine to date, the 2016 Château Duhart Milon shows how successful the Médoc was in 2016. About as pure class as it gets, with full-bodied notes of red and black currants, tobacco leaf, graphite, and leafy herbs, this beauty hits the palate with sweet tannins, a stacked mid-palate, and a layered, deep, powerful texture. It’s about as sexy as Pauillac can be and has 2-3 decades ahead of it.
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This bottling shows the vastly improved quality of this estate that still represents good value for the appellation and for its provenance as part of the Lafite-Rothschild stable. The wine is structured while full of ripe berry fruits. It has weight and density, rich with swathes of delicious fruits as well as tannins. It will develop well; drink from 2023.
RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Blended of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot, the 2016 Duhart-Milon has a deep garnet-purple color and features plums preserves, wild blueberries and cassis scents with touches of violets and underbrush with a waft of tobacco. Medium-bodied and elegant, with a backbone of finely grained tannins and oodles of freshness, it has a great core of perfumed black fruit, finishing on an earthy note.
WS 93
Wine Spectator
This is very vivid, with racy violet, cassis and plum aromas and flavors coursing through, laced with a mouthwatering anise note and leading to a long, focused finish. Displays a terrific iron underpinning. Best from 2024 through 2038.
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Chateau Duhart-Milon

Chateau Duhart-Milon

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Chateau Duhart-Milon, France - Other regions
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The Rothschild family acquired Chateau 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 Chateau Lafite. The vineyard covers 188 acres and is planted with the classical cépages of Médoc: Cabernet Sauvignon (67%) and Merlot (33%). The property has been managed since 1962 by a single team that, due to the proximity of the two properties, oversees both Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Chateau Duhart-Milon. Both Chateaux use the same traditional techniques based on strict control of yields, harvesting by hand, and numerous manual tasks throughout the year.

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The leader on the Left Bank in number of first growth classified producers within its boundaries, Pauillac has more than any of the other appellations, at three of the five. Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild border St. Estephe on its northern end and Chateau Latour is at Pauillac’s southern end, bordering St. Julien.

While the first growths are certainly some of the better producers of the Left Bank, today they often compete with some of the “lower ranked” producers (second, third, fourth, fifth growth) in quality and value. The Left Bank of Bordeaux subscribes to an arguably outdated method of classification that goes back to 1855. The finest chateaux in that year were judged on the basis of reputation and trading price; changes in rank since then have been miniscule at best. Today producers such as Chateau Pontet-Canet, Chateau Grand Puy-Lacoste, Chateau Lynch-Bages, among others (all fifth growth) offer some of the most outstanding wines in all of Bordeaux.

Defining characteristics of fine wines from Pauillac (i.e. Cabernet-based Bordeaux Blends) include inky and juicy blackcurrant, cedar or cigar box and plush or chalky tannins.

Layers of gravel in the Pauillac region are key to its wines’ character and quality. The layers offer excellent drainage in the relatively flat topography of the region allowing water to run off into “jalles” or streams, which subsequently flow off into the Gironde.

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

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