The Rothschild family acquired
Chateau Duhart-Milon, a "4th 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 owned
this land, and from the name of the little hamlet of Milon which
stands on a knoll separating this vineyard from that of
Chateau Lafite. Since the acquisition,
a lot of work has been done to reestablish the name and the
reputation of this "cru classe": replanting and developing
the vineyard, building new modern chais and cuvier, paying strict
attention to the viticulture as to the vinification.
The vineyard covers 50 hectares
and is planted with the classical grape varieties of the
Cabernet Franc (20%),
Merlot (21%) with just a few
percent of "Petit
Verdot" (this cépage
has always been traditionally planted at Duhart-Milon and a
certain excess of it in the pre-war vintages might explain their
slightly flinty hardness).
The fermentation takes place in
stainless steel vats, but the wines are aged in oak barriques,
made by the cooper of Lafite,
33 to 40% are renewed each year.
After 18 to 20 months in barrels,
during which time the wines are racked seven times and fined,
the bottling takes place at the chateau.
A strict selection of the vats
which go into Duhart-Milon wines maintains a high quality. Average
production: 180 tonneaux/year.