Château Duhart Milon: Tasting & Drinking

Having tasted a small selection of vintages over the years the improvement in quality at Château Duhart-Milon has been tangible. The 1982 was a good wine, but not quite of the standard one might expect from what is frequently hailed as one of the greatest vintages of the late 20th century. It was outshone by the 1996, which might not surprise us too much, but the 1998 also showed rather well in comparison, which is more indicative of the progress made under the Rothschilds. But the vines by this time have another sixteen years of age on them of course, and the vineyard and chai have seen another sixteen years of investment.

Each year at the primeur tastings the wine – or rather barrel sample – of Château Duhart-Milon is lined up for assessment alongside its grander neighbour Château Lafite-Rothschild and also that estate’s second wine, Carruades de Lafite. Increasingly the sample has shown very well in comparison. These are now very good wines, taking on an even greater dimension with each tasting. The 2009 was perhaps the best in recent years, although the 2010 vintage came close, while the 2012 and 2011 vintages – although several quality notches down on the two preceding years – are still very good wines taking into account the less than benevolent growing seasons.

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