Bordeaux 2018: Duhart Milon, Clerc Milon, d’Armailhac, Palmer, Gloria

Bordeaux 2018: Duhart Milon, Clerc Milon, d’Armailhac, Palmer, Gloria
There’s been a last-minute dash to release before the half time break in the campaign that is Vinexpo. This morning, both Milons, Clerc and Duhart have hit the market. We are unequivocal fans. Duhart has been in the doldrums recently, however, Jean-Guillaume Prats and the new team at Lafite have produced one of the most impressive Duhart Milons we can recall. It is an extremely serious and stylish Pauillac, made in the Lafite mould. Lisa Perrotti-Brown describes it as “the densest, most opulent Duhart I have tasted!”

“The 2018 Duhart-Milon is composed of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon and 35% Merlot, with the Cabernet Sauvignon harvested September 25 to October 4 and the Merlot harvested September 17-25, and it has 14% alcohol. Deep garnet-purple colored, it leaps from the glass with exuberant notes of Black Forest cake, plum preserves and crème de cassis with hints of spice cake, woodsmoke, potpourri and eucalyptus. Full-bodied, rich and laden with layers of black fruit preserves and spices, it has a velvety texture and just enough freshness, finishing long. Very impressive—the densest, most opulent Duhart I have tasted! 93-95/100”. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate

“This is a very powerful Duhart with blackcurrant and blackberry character. Lots of graphite and black tea. Full-bodied and muscular with lots of formed muscles and great length. Could be best ever?This is a very powerful Duhart with blackcurrant and blackberry character. Lots of graphite and black tea. Full-bodied and muscular with lots of formed muscles and great length. Could be best ever? 95-96/100”. - James Suckling, Jamessuckling.com

Clerc Milon is one of the darlings of Bordeaux. Philippe Dhalluin and Jean-Emmanuel Danjoy have created something very special here. The 2018 is certainly up there with the wonderful 2016, possibly even better. We found this to be the most lavish, yet exquisitely detailed, example to date. The fruit is verging on decadent, but there is so much verve and it is corseted by sumptuous tannins. It’s another deeply impressive effort from the Mouton team!

Poor Chateau Palmer was ravished by mildew – the perils of biodynamic farming… As a result, yields barely made it to double digits, a paltry 12 hl/ha. Alas, our small allocations have already sold out.

Yesterday saw the release of two great value wines from the northern Medoc: d’Armailhac and Gloria. As with Clerc Milon, the Mouton team has really raised the bar at d’Armailhac – quality has never been better, and it represents one of the best values from Pauillac. Henri Martin’s Chateau Gloria often outscores and outclasses its classified neighbours. The 2018 is a sensational effort; there is loads of ambition and concentration without excess. We thought it was far more attractive than St Pierre and many of the other prominent names at the St Julien UGC.

“The 2018 Gloria is deep garnet-purple colored and gives up expressive notions of warm red and black currants, black cherries and boysenberries with hints of spice cake, cedar chest, pencil lead and menthol. Full-bodied with a firm texture of ripe, grainy tannins, it has a lively line cutting through the dense, savory layers, finishing on a lingering spicy note. The blend is currently 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc. Anticipated aging is for 14 months in oak barriques, 40% new. 92-94/100”. - Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate