2005 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru AOC
Red Blend •Saint-Émilion Grand Cru AOC
What we say
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Mission Codename: I am NOT drinking any [censored] Merlot! Really?
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Secure an exclusive allocation of a Grand Cru Saint-Émilion wine.
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Chateau Milon – Domaine Bouyer
Wine Subject: 2005 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru
The movie Sideways may have tried to kill Merlot, but real wine lovers know that the joke is on the character Miles. He boldly proclaims: “If anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving. I am NOT drinking any [censored] Merlot!”, Really, and his favorite wine is Chateau Cheval Blanc? Chateau Cheval Blanc, like today’s selection from Chateau Milon is a Saint-Émilion, a predominantly Merlot blend.
Fellow Wine Spies know that the wines from Saint-Émilion have been treasured since the times that the Romans initially cultivated Bordeaux’s vineyards of the Rive Droite. Each Grand Cru vineyard has its own varietal composition and this selection is 80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and is heavily influenced by the region’s famed Terroir of Graves and ancient sand.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Dense dark violet and purple with an inky dark core and garnet hued edges. Slow fat legs inch down the side of the glass when swirled.
Smell – Medium bold in intensity and well developed in character with aromas of blackberry and other tart black-fruit with layers of licorice, smokey and toasted oak and hints of floral violets and spice.
Feel – Smooth and try with good minerality and then tanginess on the attack. The full-bodied wine has bright acidity and fine medium firm tannins.
Taste – Flavors of tart and ripe blackberries with a touch of tart pomegranate. Toasted oak, licorice, tobacco along with the tiniest touch of dark chocolate and spice round out this still youthful wine.
Finish – Medium long with lingering flavors and texture of its minerality and tart fruit with touches of spice and toast.
Conclusion – The 2005 Chateau Milon Saint-Émilion Grand Cru is a lovely Merlot-based Bordeaux with both the boldness and finesse that you would expect from a Grand Cru. 2005 was an exceptional year, rated 94 points by Wine Enthusiast, and while this wine is youthful and has much more to develop.
I had finally gotten rid of Agent Red. It was becoming tiresome having him look over my shoulder at every opportunity. Things were different in Europe and sleuthing wineries required a different “Je ne sais pas” than it did in California’s wine country. I needed to get my groove back… but where? Where else? Bordeaux, of course…
I figured I’d find a nice Grand Cru for our operatives so I sent a message to Agent Terroir, my local asset, to make the arrangements. I figured it would make sense to try and get a 2005, and even though they we’re youthful and just being released, rumor had it that they were already drinking exceptionally well.
Agent Terroir wanted some more details. I usually lean towards the Cabernet Sauvignon of the rive gauche, such as in Pauillac in the Medoc, this time I figured we should try a Merlot from the rive droite. And since we are on the right bank, it has to be Saint-Émilion!
Upon arrival at in Saint-Émilion, we immediate headed to the Bouyer’s family Castle Milon and their Grand Cru vineyard on the ‘_pied de côte_’. Once there we walked the vineyard and secured a bottle of their 2005 Saint-Émilion Grand Cru. After gathering the necessary intel we headed back to town and to Amelia- Canta on the plaza in front of Saint- Emilion’s famous cave church. Oh year, its nice to get my groove back!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of Saint-Émilion along the rive droite of the Dordogne (and the Gironde) can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
This wine hails from vines on the ‘pied de côte’, to the name north on a soil of sand and of clay that is born each year the Castle Milon, property of the family Bouyer, that reveals on this top of the line 2005 exceptional, this very promising. A robe of a red deep one opens on a nose to the flavoring of ripe fruit, of fruit cook and of spice. A supple and stable wine with plumpness and fruit, obtained by a mastery of the yields and a farm of 13 months in barrel. Seductive nose with overtones of cedar and tobacco. Lovely supple and concentrated fruit produce a world-beater. Soft and full in mouth – a complete wine which marries with hearty and elegant dishes alike. A beautiful exercise of style!
Food Pairing: This top of the line will suit itself red meats, of games and of soft cheeses
Perched on the heights of the St Emilion plateau, Chateau Milon benefits from an exceptional micro-climate and soil, with low-yielding old vines. One of the properties which deserves the famous accolade of Grand Cru St Emilion.
About The Winery:
The Domain Bouyer is a family domain for 7 generations and is situated in Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes close to Holy Emilion. It is composed of two distinct properties: the Closed one of the Course of treatment and the Castle Milon, both of them in Holy name Big Raw emilion. Taken in reasoned fight since 1997, these two vineyards are enherbés to favor the competition with the feet of vine and thus to obtain from better qualities of grape.
The Closed one Course of treatment, of an area of 6 hectares, has his name to the Fact that a part of the vineyard belonged to the course of treatment of Saint-Christophe-des-Bardes.
It spreads itself on the plateau of Saint-Etienne-de-Lisse, neighbor the prestigious Castle of Valandraud. The Castle Milon for his part counts a little more than 6 hectares, and its vines are situated in coast foot, on a soil of sand and of clay.
Mastered yields, grape-harvests manuelles, wine-making and cared for farms allowed the family Bouyer to elaborate wines well do to hoist them among the all better swellings of name.
Grand Cru Vineyard:
The Chateau Milon, an estate that’s been family-run for seven generations, covers 20 hectares, 6.5 hectares of which are part of the Saint-Emilon Grand Cru appellation situated at the base of the slopes. The terroir is very much typical of the appellation, comprised of hard sandstone, lying above clay and iron-rich soil. The make-up of the vineyard is 80% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines are painstakingly tended (with farm-compost and manure used as fertilizers). The vines are short-pruned and yields are kept low ( 40 to 45 hectoliters per hectare), the leaves are thinned and green harvesting is carried out in order to obtain optimally ripe grapes at harvest, the key step in the making of a great wine. The estate uses traditional vinification: the harvest is 100% de-stemmed, the vatting periods are long and carried out at controlled temperatures for 3 to 4 weeks, followed maturation for 12 months in barrels, with fining using egg whites. The wines are bottled at the estate.