Duhart-Milon ’09 Climbs to Two-Month High of $1,100 in London

A case of 2009 wine from Chateau Duhart-Milon, a Bordeaux fourth-growth wine producer with links to Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, sold for 700 pounds ($1,100) on the Liv-ex market in London, its highest level since May 24.

Yesterday’s transaction was 6 percent above its lowest level for this month of 658 pounds a case and 17 percent up from its record low of 600 pounds touched last November, according to Liv-ex data on its Cellar Watch website. The rally took it back to the level at which it was trading for most of January.

While the Liv-ex Fine Wine 50 Index of top Bordeaux wines has risen 3 percent since the start of 2013, gains came mainly in the first 10 weeks of the year, with prices sliding since mid-March. A muted response to the Bordeaux 2012 wine futures sales campaign has focused demand on some other vintages.

Investment flows “have been a key factor in the flat market seen over the last 12 months, with significant net sales from investment holders preventing the quite strong underlying demand from causing prices to increase,” according to a report from Chris Smith, investment manager at The Wine Investment Fund in London. The fund, invested in Bordeaux, manages $50 million.

Duhart-Milon is owned by Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite), which controls Lafite-Rothschild, and the estates in Pauillac are neighbors. Duhart-Milon is managed by the same team as Lafite, led by Charles Chevallier, using the same techniques.

Estate Purchase

The Rothschild family bought Duhart-Milon in 1962, and its vineyards now cover 76 hectares (188 acres), according to the producer’s website. Its vines, with an average age of 30 years, comprise 67 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 33 percent Merlot.

Duhart-Milon’s 2009 wines are its most expensive since its 2000 vintage, according to merchant data compiled by Liv-ex on Cellar Watch.

The 2009 wines were awarded a 97 rating on a 100-point scale by U.S. wine critic Robert Parker, higher than its preceding vintages. He described it in a February 2012 online tasting note as “the most concentrated and broadest example of this cuvee I have tasted in over three decades.”