2009 Bordeaux: The Other Rothschild

Posted by CrushWine

Family Matters
2009 Duhart-Milon
A House at the Tipping Point?
Special Bordeaux Futures Pricing

"The 2009 appears to be the finest Duhart-Milon yet made. The Rothschild family has invested heavily in this estate over the last 20 years in order to upgrade the quality, and their investments have certainly paid off handsomely."
- Robert Parker

People are catching on, quickly: Duhart-Milon offers a fantastic quality to value ratio, the chateau's 2009 an exemplary Medoc for the vintage... and at a miniscule fraction of the price of its supermodel siblings (read: Lafite and that maison's Carruades).

Today we continue our 2009 Bordeaux futures campaign with the vintage's Duhart-Milon at $77.95 a bottle.

In our opinion, this is one of the wines in the feverish 2009 Bordeaux market that really makes sense - not only for the most serious collectors interested in the Rothschild affiliation but also for the buyer who just really loves the satiny concentration, the dark and spicy fruit, the opulence yet elegance that typifies the very best Bordeaux.

As Parker points out, Barons de Rothschild's investments in this estate - it had all but shriveled away before they smartly bought it up and resurrected it in the 1960s - are very seriously paying off, with quality climbing significantly each vintage.

This is as attentive vineyard managment and winemaking as you can get in the entire region. Vines were replanted - to a whopping density of 7,000 per hectare - shortly after the Rothschild purchase, and the combination of the vineyard's high density and their edging into older age definitely contributes to the wine's complexity and concentration of fruit.

Attractively, for such high quality, Duhart-Milon's price tag still manages to be reasonable... at least for the moment. Yet with demand for Lafite (and its correlating prices) soaring ever higher, Duhart-Milon is blinking more brightly on the radar of big buyers who recognize its noble ties; as this house's quality and demand increases, one can only speculate about the corresponding prices.

There's a family resemblance in the wines, too, that makes sense: Duhart-Milon's vineyards are adjacent to those of Lafite and sit on the same Carruades plateau that gives its name to that house's second label. Furthermore, both wines are under the direction of Charles Chevallier, ensuring that a similar vein of vineyard management and winemaking are followed.

The 09 Duhart-Milon is sleek yet seriously structured with underlying evidence of its gravelly soil, then saturated with liqueur-like cassis and currants, graphite and cedarbox lined with violets. This is ripe, yes, and impressively concentrated... but it's also impeccably pure and lively, all interwoven with a perfect acid to tannin balance - the calling cards of this fantastic vintage. Parker appropriately notes, this 09 may be "the finest Duhart-Milon ever made."

Part of what's so alluring about the 09s is that they are already incredibly seductive - plush, ripe and irresistible. But the vintage's perfect balance fairly guarantees that these will be some of the longest lasting in this century, and the 09 Duhart-Milon certainly has decades of steam in its tank.

Just as primeur tastings in Bordeaux pit barrel samples of Duhart-Milon against Lafite and Carruades (numerous people note that the 09 showed very well), this wine will certainly be compared down the line to its fellow greats from this vintage. Today's pricing offers a perfect opportunity to join the conversation.

Robert Schagrin
Managing Partner
Crush Wine & Spirits

2009 Duhart-Milon

Wine Advocate: 2009 may turn out to be among the greatest vintages ever in the Medoc. The 2009 appears to be the finest Duhart Milon yet made. The Rothschild family has invested heavily in this estate over the last 20 years in order to upgrade the quality, and their investments have certainly paid off handsomely. A blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Merlot, the 2009's opaque purple color is followed by an extraordinary perfume of creme de cassis, violets, graphite, and subtle wood. This full-bodied, intense, voluptuously textured, pure, seductive wine seems more open-knit and opulent than the more structured Carruades de Lafite. Nevertheless, the Duhart requires 3-5 years of cellaring, and should drink well for 30+ years. Bravo!

Wine is pre-arrival
NET | No further discount