Learn everything about Chateau Duhart Milon, and Pauillac Fourth Growth with wine tasting notes and wine-with-food pairing tips. Learn the best vintages, the history of the property, and information about the vineyards and the winemaking. If you want to read about other important, Bordeaux Chateaux: Links to all Bordeaux Wine Producer Profiles
Chateau Duhart Milon History, Overview
Originally known simply as Chateau Milon, (original name,) at one time, in its formative years, the estate was known as the second wine of Chateau Lafite. The story about how this came to be is interesting. The owner of Lafite at that time was the Marquis Nicolas-Alexandre de Segur.
King Louis XV called him The Wine Prince because of his extensive vineyard holdings in Bordeaux. The Milon vineyards were thought of as good, but of course, not as good as Lafite, which is how the wine came to be thought of as the second wine for Lafite.
In 1815, the Pauillac property was considered by some people as a fourth growth Bordeaux wine in the making. In those days, the wine was sold under the name of Chateau Mandavy-Milon. Between 1830 and 1840, the Casteja family became the owners of the estate from an inheritance.
The label of Duhart Milon, according to family tradition came about from an old legend written about one of their ancestors, Sir Duhart. Sir Duhart, was rumored to have been a pirate for Louis XV. He settled at Pauillac for retirement. The “pirate’s house” on the Pauillac port existed up to the 1950s. That original building inspired the label for the Duhart-Milon wines.
The Casteja family remained in possession of Duhart Milon until the first part of the 20th century. At the time, Chateau Duhart Milon was one of the larger Pauillac estates with around 50 hectares of vines.
In 1937, the result of successive inheritances led to the sale of Duhart Milon. The Left Bank property went through five different owners in just 25 years. Coupled with the splitting up of the vineyards and the frost of 1956, the quality of Duhart Milon continued declining until the Rothschild family purchased the property in 1962.
At that time of the sale, Chateau Duhart Milon included 110 hectares of land, of which only 17 hectares were planted with vines. The entire vineyard was in desperate need of replanting. Major renovations were urgently needed in the vineyards, which demanded work on the drainage and replanting.
The size of their vineyards was also increased with purchases of other parcels adding to the size of their Medoc holdings. New cellars needed to be built as well. Chateau Duhart Milon remains one of the few 1855 Classified Growth estates without an actual chateau. Here, all you find are the cellars, vatting rooms, and barrel-aging cellars.
During the period from 1970 to 2000, the vineyards almost doubled in size! Additionally, they constructed new cellars and renovated and modernized their wine-making facilities as well in 2003. By 2008, the wine of Duhart Milon increased in quality, stature, and price.
Much of the price increase had to do with the association with Chateau Lafite Rothschild, which had by that time, become the most in-demand, collectible wine in China. By the time the 2015 vintage was offered, prices had dropped to a more affordable price level.
Duhart Milon completed construction on new cellars and vat rooms in 2020. The new modern cellars allowed the estate to vinify on a parcel-by-parcel selection for the first time. The results were clearly visible with the 2020 vintage which showed more precision, character, and excitement in the wine.
Chateau Duhart Milon Vineyards, Terroir, Grapes, Winemaking
The 76-hectare vineyard of Chateau Duhart Milon is planted to 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot. This makes Chateau Duhart Milon one of the few 1855 Classified Growths with only two grape varieties planted in their vineyards. The entire estate covers 152 hectares. With 76 hectares under vine, the remainder of the property is devoted to greenery and pastures.
The vineyard of Chateau Duhart Milon has a terroir of gravel, sand, limestone, and clay soils. The average age of the vines is 30 years old. The vineyard is planted to a vine density of 7,500 vines per hectare. The vineyard can be divided into close to 40 separate parcels.
The Duhart Milon vineyards are located in the north of Pauillac, on the western side of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, on the Milon hillside, which is not far from the Carruades plateau. This places the vineyard quite close to Chateau Mouton Rothschild and Chateau Clerc Milon. However, here you find a slightly cooler terroir, due to its northern exposure. That is one of the reasons why you find more Merlot planted here.
The naturally cooler soils provide more freshness to the wine and allow for later picking. The terroir of Chateau Duhart Milon is a combination of gravel, sand, and limestone soils. The Duhart Milon vineyards are unique in Pauillac, as the vines are, for the most part, located in 1 single, large block of vines.
To produce the wine of Chateau Duhart Milon, vinification takes place in 40 temperature-controlled, stainless vats of various sizes, allowing for parcel-by-parcel vinification. Malolactic fermentation takes place in vat. Chateau Duhart Milon is then aged in an average of 50% new, French oak barrels for 14 to 16 months, depending on the vintage. There is no actual chateau, the wines are made in a cellar located in the village of Pauillac.
The best vintages of Chateau Duhart Milon are: 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, and 2005. Older vintages should be approached with some caution.
In part, because the vines were young, the wine made at Chateau Duhart Milon during the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s was not as good as it should have been. That changed starting with the 2000 vintage and began improving with the 2005 vintage. However, the wines took another big jump up in quality starting with the 2018 vintage.
There is a second wine, Moulin de Duhart, that was created in 1986. The estate also produces a third wine, Baron de Milon. In 2021, they added a white Bordeaux wine, Duhart Milon Blanc. Initially, the wine blends 80% Semillon with 18% Sauvignon Blanc and a small touch of Sauvignon Gris. On average, close to 30,000 cases of wine are produced here at each vintage.
When to Drink Chateau Duhart Milon, Anticipated Maturity, Decanting Time
Chateau Duhart Milon needs time in the cellar. But it can be enjoyed on the young side with decanting. Young vintages can be decanted for an average of 2-3 hours, give or take. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment.
Chateau Duhart Milon is usually better with about 8-12 years of bottle age. Of course, that can vary slightly, depending on the vintage character. Chateau Duhart Milon reaches its peak maturity between 10-30 years of age after the vintage.
Serving Chateau Duhart Milon with Wine, Food, Pairing Tips
Chateau Duhart Milon is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift.
Chateau Duhart Milon is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, and grilled dishes. Duhart Milon is also good with Asian dishes, and hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms, and pasta.
Chateau Duhart Milon became much more expensive in 2009. This is because of the massive, increased Asian demand for wine, due to the fact it shared ownership with the First Growth estate, Chateau Lafite Rothschild. However, by 2012, prices had slipped for the wine, making it more of an attractive purchase.
Château Duhart-Milon Wine Tasting Notes
24 Vintages 232,631 Views Sort by Vintage-Rating
Lead pencil, spice, red currants, flowers, and dark cherries crowd into the nose. On the palate, the wine is elegant, refined, soft, and pure. There is density along with vibrance, spice, lift, and width. The finish, with its blend of red fruits, cocoa, orange rind, spice, espresso, and plums lingers, which is a good things as you as much of this on your palate as possible. The wine is a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Merlot. 13.5% ABV, 3.9 pH. Drink from 2026-2050. 94-96 Pts.
1,617 Views Tasted May 8, 2023
Flowers, black cherries, earth and a hint of coffee bean for the nose. On the medium-bodied palate, the wine is soft, fresh, gentle and elegant, with a focus on the purity in the fruit, and the refinement in the tannins in the mid-palate and in the finish. The wine is a blend of 81% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Merlot. This is the second vintage produced in the new cellars which helped a lot this year, due to the ability to vinify on a parcel by parcel basis. Drink from 2024-2042. 91-93
1,595 Views Tasted May 20, 2022
Red pit fruits, flowers, cedar, and plums with a touch of tobacco leaf, and create the nose. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, vibrant, soft, and energetic with an air of elegance, refinement, and silky textures which feel great on the mid-palate, and in the finish. This is the debut vintage produced in their new cellars which helped shape the wine as it allowed the team to vinify for the first time on a parcel-by-parcel basis. Drink from 2024-2045.
1,317 Views Tasted Mar 21, 2023
Earthy in nature, the wine lifts off with its cigar wrapper, forest leaf, tobacco, peppery spice and sweet red currant profile. Medium-bodied, elegant, silky and fresh, with a beautiful symmetry and balance, along with freshness, length and purity in the fruits, this is a top vintage for Duhart Milon. The wine is a blend of 72% Cabernet Sauvignon and 28% Merlot. This is the first vintage made in the new cellars, which for the first time allow for parcel by parcel vinification. 93-95 Pts
5,126 Views Tasted May 20, 2021
Flowers, cigar box, and cedar with red and black currants are what you initially notice. Medium-bodied, but with a bit more weight than in many previous vintages, the wine is fresh, elegant, soft, and vibrant, with a savory accent in the refined finish. The wine blends 72% Cabernet Sauvignon with 28% Merlot. Drink from 2026-2041.
1,683 Views Tasted Mar 29, 2022
Cedar, herbs, tobacco, flowers, cocoa dust and red fruits open the wine. On the palate the wine is fresh, crisp, earthy, spicy, soft, and medium-bodied, leaving you with sweet, pure, ripe cassis notes. The wine blends 70% Cabernet Sauvignon with 30% Merlot. What I really like here is that the wine straddles between classic and modern Pauillac. 93-95 Pts
7,410 Views Tasted Jun 8, 2020
Deep garnet in color, the wine offers spice, smoke, currants, tobacco leaf and cedar on the nose. With more depth than usual, the wine is round, lush, sweet and fresh, with lusciously textured red fruits in the silky finish. Give it about 5 years in the cellar as this will drink well early. Clearly this is a new era for Duhart Milon. The wine blends 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot, 14.5% ABV.
3,409 Views Tasted Mar 9, 2021
With a nice depth of color, the wine is medium-bodied, elegant, black currant filled wine with a touch of olive, tobacco and plum. Refined, forward, fresh and clean and already showing purity, silky textures and spicy, red pit fruits from start to finish, this is a solid wine, with real character, made from blending 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot. The harvest took place September 17 to October 4. 94-96 Pts
4,308 Views Tasted Apr 19, 2019
Medium-bodied, forward, soft, classic and floral, the red fruit is sweet, fresh and juicy, with a good sense of purity and refinement.
4,443 Views Tasted May 14, 2020
A medium-bodied wine with an emphasis on the stylish black raspberry and cassis core, there is softness, sophistication and purity with refined tannins and tender fruit in the finish. The wine was made from a meld of 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Merlot.
5,144 Views Tasted Apr 26, 2018
The black raspberries, tobacco leaf and floral notes stand out here. The wine is refined, medium bodied, fresh, elegant and lush, ending with sweet, juicy, ripe dark cherries. The wine was made from a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot. Give this 5-8 years of time before popping a cork and enjoy it for the next 20 years after that.
4,913 Views Tasted Sep 21, 2019
Floral, black raspberry, tobacco and wet earth scents create the nose. Medium bodied with an elegant palate, the fruit radiates with a fresh, sweet quality and ends with juicy, ripe dark cherries. The wine was made from a blend of 67% Cabernet Sauvignon and 33% Merlot, which was picked September 26 to October 12.
8,587 Views Tasted Apr 29, 2017
It is the elegance and purity in the sweet, red berries that stand out here. Forward, soft, refined and complex, the wine is fresh and the textures exude grace. Give it 4-5 years in the cellar.
3,853 Views Tasted Oct 24, 2018
Nice wine indeed, but the 2016 is so much better. That in itself does not take anything away from the fresh , vibrant character here and all its complexities offered here.
3,987 Views Tasted Jul 12, 2017
Freshly snipped herbs, tobacco, cedar and black currant begin a refined and stylishly spicy wine. Be prepared for a burst of sweet, pure black raspberries and cassis in the end note. Made from a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, the fruit was harvested in late September and early October, beginning with the Merlot and finishing with the Cabernet Sauvignon. 91 - 93 Pts
3,238 Views Tasted Apr 18, 2016
Tobacco, cedar, cassis and lead pencil on the nose. The medium bodied wine is fresh, lively, with a blend of black cherry and cassis with an energetic, spicy, lively finish. Give it at least 8 more years to come around. Plus, for some odd reason, there was a huge infestation of grape eating snails that loved eating the Cabernet Sauvignon, which has added more fatness to the wine.
5,333 Views Tasted Jul 12, 2017
55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot produced a blend which is elegant, fresh and medium-bodied in style with sweet, crisp cassis, peppery blackberries and soft tannins in an open finish. Give this wine a few more years to develop additional complexity. 90-92 Pts
9,661 Views Tasted Apr 14, 2015
Using 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, the wine opens with floral, black raspberry and cassis in the nose. Medium bodied with a saline character to its light, soft, open, dark cherry personality, this is a Duhart Milon to drink young. The yields were 25 hectoliters per hectare. 89-90 Pts
7,488 Views Tasted Apr 20, 2014
62% Cabernet Sauvignon and 38% Merlot – The wine offers sweet dark berries, freshness and a sweet and tart, red and dark berry finish. 89-91 Pts
7,802 Views Tasted Apr 23, 2013
75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot make up the blend. With a perfume of black cherry, smoke and lead pencil, the wine offers ample, fresh, chewy Cabernet flavors with freshness and cassis. 91-93 Pts
8,383 Views Tasted Apr 10, 2012
Still tight, young, vibrant, and reserved, with time, you will find an elegant, medium-bodied, crisp, bright, red currant, and cassis-filled, tobacco-stained, textbook Pauillac. It will probably retain its reserved character, but classic Pauillac lovers will find a lot to like about this wine. Drink from 2026-2046.
4,620 Views Tasted Jul 9, 2022
Closing up, it took effort to find the cassis, tobacco and olive notes. Medium/full bodied, soft textures and a fresh, cassis and dark red berry filled finish are found in this elegant Pauillac.
16,236 Views Tasted Oct 10, 2013
Duhart Milon 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, (which is also similar to what the property used in 2005,) the wine opens with sweet oak, truffle, cassis and tobacco notes. This medium/full bodied cassis filled wine has ripe tannins and a long, polished black fruit filled finish. 93-95 Pts
15,511 Views Tasted Apr 20, 2011
Elegant, floral, fresh, and refined, the wine is medium-bodied, almost supple, soft, and energetic in its delivery of its core of sweet, ripe, wealth of red fruits and spice. Just entering its drinking window, it is in a good place to pop a cork today. Drink from 2023-2045.
1,214 Views Tasted Nov 21, 2023
Elegant, refined, medium-bodied, fresh and energetic, this blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Merlot is clean, fresh, pure and classic, with a sweet, bright, soft, bright red berry note in the finish.
7,500 Views Tasted Sep 20, 2019
Medium.full bodied, elegant, finesse styled Pauillac with a focus on freshness, silky, smooth tannins and ripe cassis, blackberries, earth, thyme, tobacco and cedar wood aromatics. On the palate, the wine is fresh, sweet, lively and serves up ample, ripe, sweet, spicy fruits in the finish. Still young, there is not much in the way of secondary development yet, but there is such a wealth of ripe fruit and silk tannins, like many 2009 Bordeaux wines, they can be deceptively easy to drink in their youth. The wine was made from a blend of 63% Cabernet Sauvignon and 37% Merlot.
10,926 Views Tasted Oct 18, 2015
Far too young, but someone has to taste these in the name of science. With air and effort, smoke, tobacco, blackberry and earthy scents leads to a fresh, crisp, tannic, young Pauillac with good concentration that will be more fun to drink in 6-10 years. From a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot, the wine reached 13.1% ABV.
9,187 Views Tasted Sep 1, 2014
Fully mature, medium bodied, with crisp, bright red fruits, hints of tobacco and green forest notes, that finishes with fresh, cherries.
3,269 Views Tasted Jun 25, 2017
Medium bodied, fresh, classic and still youthful, the red berry, tobacco, lead pencil and cedar nose brings you to a medium bodied, crisp, soft, but firm palate. Time should help this wine soften and expand.
5,207 Views Tasted May 25, 2016
From a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Merlot, this Pauillac wine offers cedar wood, tobacco, cassis and spicy blackberry notes. Tannic, structured and filled with ripe, juicy cassis, this Bordeaux wine needs at least another 5 years before it really starts to open up. Sadly, due to its connection to Chateau Lafite Rothschild, this attractive wine has become far too expensive for its quality.
7,092 Views Tasted Oct 5, 2011
Elegant, refined, soft and medium-bodied, with a core of fresh, sweet, bright, tobacco and earth infused red fruits, flowers and spice, this is close to ready to drink. Give it another 2-4 years and enjoy it over the following 15 or more years. This is the first vintage marking the revival of Duhart Milon for the Rothschild family.
6,928 Views Tasted Sep 30, 2019
The first wine announcing the reemergence of Duhart Milon is medium bodied, finesse styled and displays an elegant, fresh, bright, crisp, cassis, black cherry, earth, and tobacco nosed profile, there is good freshness to the fruit and a softness to the tannins. The wine was made from a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot.
8,926 Views Tasted Jun 28, 2015
From a blend of 71% Cabernet Sauvignon and 29% Merlot, this vintage of chateau Duhart Milon is filled with aromas of creme de cassis, cedar wood, earth, tobacco and spice aromas that lead to a medium/full bodied Bordeaux wine that is already starting to show well. With round tannins and soft textures, this cassis and chocolate filled Pauillac will add complexity and softer textures with another 6-8 years of bottle age.
15,631 Views Tasted Jul 24, 2011
Starting to open and show nicely with a short decant, the wine medium bodied, fresh, lively and offers fresh, red fruits, earth, cedar, herbs and tobacco leaf. Classic in style, the wine was made from a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot.
4,374 Views Tasted Jan 4, 2017
Light in color with noticeable bricking , scents of cigar box, forest floor and dark berries are easy to find. Medium bodied, with no tannin remaining, the wine is drinking at full maturity.
5,915 Views Tasted Dec 18, 2013
Medium-bodied, mature, tobacco, cassis, cranberry, herb and cedar filled wine that is correctly made, enjoyable, but uninspiring.
2,809 Views Tasted Sep 23, 2020
Medium-bodied, crisp, bright, leafy red berries with a leafy, herb, pepper, and tobacco edge to the fruits. This is fading and needs to be consumed. Drink from 2022-2024.
2,169 Views Tasted Oct 4, 2022
At close to 65 years of age, this was ready for retirement. Fading, but with the unmistakable character of a Pauillac, the cassis, cranberry, tobacco and cedar personality is still holding on, albeit just barely. The wine is light in fruit, weight and finish.
3,097 Views Tasted Dec 9, 2015
Musty on the nose, cedar, leafy, forest floor notes poked through. Medium bodied, with soft, round, supple textures and just a bit of spicy, red fruit in the finish. This would have been much better without the musty nose. Other bottles could be better, or not, depending on the provenance.
2,723 Views Tasted Dec 15, 2014