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April 24, 2015

Duhart Milon Rothschild 2014

duhart

This morning Domaine Baron de Rothschild have released all of their Grand Cru wines, with the exception of Lafite Rothschild itself. This Domaine benefited the most from the Asian fine wine boom, with the prices of their wines soaring. It comes as a pleasant surprise therefore, that they are the first major Estate to reduce their euro price on 2013, making this release very interesting. In particular, Duhart Milon Rothschild represents a huge discount on recent vintages and a very good opportunity! Last year Duhart Milon released ex-London at €50 per bottle, which was £40 per bottle. Today it has released at €46.50 per bottle, which given the very favourable exchange rate equates to £33 per bottle, or £400 per case of 12 bottles, a huge 17.5% discount on 2013, a 30.4% discount on 2012 and 37.5% discount on 2011.

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The Wine Advocate is yet to release its 2014 scores, however Duhart Milon 2014 has been tasted by James Suckling (JS) who scored it 92-93 points, this surpasses his 2010 score which trades today at £550 a case. Moreover, at £400 per case of 12 bottles or £200 per case of six, the 2014 is comfortably the cheapest vintage available, which for the first time since 2008 offers an incentive to buy en primeur – The Estate has listened to the market! This is a very good Duhart Milon, reminiscent of the 2008, yet with greater density and fruit focus, at £33 per bottle this is very compelling.

Duhart Milon 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. As soon as the Rothschilds, 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 Rothschild 2014, 6x75cl £200, 12x75cl £400
James Suckling, 92-93 Points
This is very solid and muscular with dark berries and blueberries. More merlot than normal but shows a serious structure that underlines the excellence of the cabernet. Small production of cabernet here with 45% merlot in the blend. 
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator 90–93 Points
This has yet to soak up its oak and remains a bit raw, but the juniper and alder notes should meld easily enough as the core of plum and raspberry coulis flavors is ripe and fleshy. Shows ample grip through the finish, with a prominent tobacco streak adding texture. Tasted non-blind.

L’Evangile, 6x75cl £425, 12x75cl £865 – 93-96 Wine Spectator
The 93-96 (WS) point scoring L’Evangile from Domaine Baron de Rothschild also released today at £432.50 per case of six bottles, representing a 13.5% discount on 2013’s en primeur price. L’Evangile was one of the success stories of the vintage and a highlight of the heterogeneous right bank offerings, critics are in agreement, Jancis Robinson describes L’Evangile 2014 as ‘Round and seductive….Flattering and very vibrant’ she goes on to award it 17.5 points ranking it alongside Lafleur and Le Pin.

Rieussec, 6x75cl £200 - 97-98 James Suckling
The Sauternes of 2014 are stunning, late conditions were perfect for botrytic development and the top wines of the vintage will become legends. Rieussec released today at £200 per case of six bottles, while its release price appears expensive when compared to last week’s releases of Coutet and Doisy Vedrines, the Estate have reduced their price by 17% on the 2013 release. Along with d’Yquem, James Suckling rates Rieussec 2014 as his Sauternes of the vintage, scoring it 97-98 points. There is no doubt the 2014 Rieussec is one of the Estate’s best ever efforts, however, there is significantly better value to be found amongst its peers.

The 2014 Vintage
The quality of the 2014 vintage is very good, comfortably the best since 2010. However, while quality is high in 2014, prices need to be low. In our en primeur report (to read this click here) we posited that for the first time since 2008, we could see prices that incentivise one to purchase on release.

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