Following the recent news that Neal Martin will be leaving the Wine Advocate and joining up with Vinous Media in February, it was announced today that Lisa Perrotti -Brown MW will take over tasting Bordeaux from Martin. Neal Martin was surprisingly plucked out of the swath of wine bloggers by Robert Parker, thereon joining the Wine Advocate in 2006. In 2013, Antonio Galloni polemically left the Wine Advocate to create Vinous Media. These events must leave Big Bob asking, Et tu, Brute? It will also mean the qualitative nature of the market will become more heterogenous.
There are several drivers which can quickly change the price of wines, the en primeur (in barrel) score, which are followed two years later by the in-bottle score, these are normally tasted in March and finally after 10 years, post release. For the last 30 years Robert Parker has dominated the landscape providing a consistent vertical scoring and re-scoring. We have been told that Neal Martin and Antonio Galloni will both taste for Vinous and release two separate reports. Then there will be the Wine Spectator score, who are influential in the US, James Suckling, who is significant both in Asia and the US and finally the Wine Advocate, with Lisa Perrotti-Brown adding a new palate and subjectivity. However, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, who is the Editor in Chief of the Wine Advocate and a Master of Wine brings real gravitas and pedigree and her in-bottle score which will be released in April will be greatly anticipated by the market. In the long-run, we believe she will re-stabilise and centralise scoring, the Wine Advocate after all is the most dominant and important wine review.
As such we will be re-releasing some of the most interesting 2015s, which will see supply pressure as we get closer to the re-scores. Today we are pleased to offer Duhart-Milon Rothschild 2015, which has the lowest Price Over Points Ratio of any of the last 15 vintages from this iconic Estate, with a superb POP score of 23. We consider any mainstream Grand Cru Bordeaux with a POP lower than 30 as exceptional. Moreover, 2015 is an extraordinary vintage, a true great, akin to 2000, 2005, 2009 and 2010. Duhart-Milon is always a strong candidate for a positive re-score, due to its powerful tannin, for example the 2005 was awarded 90-92 from barrel, to 94 points. At £42.50 one can get a truly great wine from a prodigious Estate at a superb price. The 90 point scoring 2006 trades at £380 per case of six, the 90 point scoring 2000 at £490 per six and the 2005, which is a similar quality to the 2015, £425 per six. At £255 Duhart-Milon 2015 is a wine to own, it has a lot of headroom.
Baron Eric de Rothschild’s Duhart-Milon is younger brother to the great Lafite Rothschild. Today’s price of £510 per full case, or £255 per case of six, is a fraction of the price of Lafite – the same amount of money will get you one bottle of the First Growth. Furthermore, Duhart is actually half the price of the lesser scoring Carruades de Lafite, the top Estate’s second wine, which was awarded 89-91 in 2015 and trades at £2,500 per case of 12. Much of this is due to the incredible Asian demand for Carruades, which is perceived as a more accessible version of Lafite but retaining the name. This plays further to Duhart-Milon which is synonymous with Lafite Rothschild in Asia, due to the fact Lafite bought the Estate in 1962, renaming it Duhart-Milon Rothschild; the wines also share similar labels.
Duhart-Milon Rothschild is a Fourth Growth in its own right and is found in Pauillac on the western boundary of Lafite Rothschild. Its vineyards are found on the Milon hillside, very close to the Carruades plateau and shares similar terroir, combining gravel, sand and limestone: it is easy to understand the Rothschild’s eagerness to purchase its neighbouring Estate. As soon as they made the acquisition they painstakingly rebuilt the Estate investing heavily into it, clearing all unhealthy vines and replanting them, as such the vines today have an average age of 30 years.
Duhart-Milon 2015 is an excellent buy when compared to other vintages, it is trading at an appealing discount to them. It is a truly superb Estate, heralding from a great vintage. It also bears the Rothschild name, giving it huge appeal in Asia. Whether to buy and re-sale or to drink over the coming years, the 2015 makes a lot of sense.
90-92 Points, Neal Martin, The Wine Advocate
“The 2015 Duhart Milon is a blend of 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot picked between September 23 and October 6, the September 17-23 respectively. It will eventually see 40% new oak during its élevage. It has a tightly-wound bouquet with blackberry, bilberry and cassis fruit, moderate complexity, perhaps just a little static at the moment. The palate is medium-bodied with quite supple tannin for the normally obdurate Duhart-Milon, the acidity nicely judged with a pleasing salinity towards the finish. I would just like to see more personality come through by the time of bottling. Otherwise, this is a fine Duhart-Milon that is more compromising than the tannic “beasts” of yesteryear, and it should drink after 5-7 years in bottle.”
90-92 Points, Antonio Galloni
“The 2015 Duhart-Milon is soft, open-knit and expressive, with gorgeous dark red and purplish fruit pushed forward and pretty spiced notes that add complexity. Medium in body and gracious, the 2015 should drink nicely with minimal cellaring. This is a very pretty, understated Duhart. The blend is 73% Cabernet Sauvignon and 27% Merlot.”
91-92 Points, James Suckling
“A firm and silky red with blackberry and chocolate character. Hints of walnut. Full and chewy. Fresh finish.”
Duhart-Milon Rothschild 2015, 12×75 – £510 EP 6×75 – £255 EP
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