Domaine Milan – Elegant organic wines from Provence

Domaine Milan  is a producer of elegant organic wines from Provence and occupies prime real estate in the holiday town of St Remy de Provence. The immaculate vineyards are framed by both suburban estates and the famous nearby Chaîne des Alpilles mountains that provide climatic protection for the vineyards.

Here, the gregarious Henri Milan along with his son Théo crafts elegant wines using no chemicals, no additives, no commercial yeasts and, in some cases, no added sulphur.

These organic wines have been very successful in Australia and we have been working with them and visiting their delightful winery for many years now.

The sulphur-free wines have been very popular and we have ordered as many as we can.

Domaine Milan Vin de France Brut Nature Rosé 2018

This is a dry sparkling wine from the Milan stable with this one usually being fermented from Grenache (80%), Mourvedre (20%) and a little Alicante which were all grown on clay and limestone in their Eyragues vineyard.

However the 2018 vintage was not a good one for this vineyard. The vineyard is in an area where they normally rely on the strong winds from the north to dry out the vines after heavy rain, but this year there was no wind so the vines were attacked with mildew and so there were very few grapes to pick. For this reason the Milans decided to use all the grapes from this vineyard to make the sparkling rosé.

So, for 2018 only the grape varieties in this wine are Grenache, Mourvedre, Alicante, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Pinot Gris, Vermentino, Syrah, Grenache Blanc, Chenin and Niellucciu.

This is not a pet nat but rather has been made using the méthode traditionelle where a still white wine is made first and then, when the wine is bottled, yeast is added to start a second fermentation. No sugar is added after the fermentation which is why you see the words Non Dosé on the back label.

The wine has been disgorged and then topped up with the same wine.

It is a light, lingering, savoury drink with excellent length. Good for matching to a wide range of foods.

RRP: $49 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Milan Vin de France Brut Nature Blanc 2017

This is another dry sparkling wine from the Milan family with this one being fermented from Grenache Blanc (70%) and Bourboulenc which were all grown on clay and limestone in the Eyragues vineyard which lies a few kilometres immediately north of the St Remy de Provence.

As with the rosé above, this is not a pet nat but rather has been made using the méthode traditionelle where a still white wine is made first and then, when the wine is bottled, yeast is added to start a second fermentation. No sugar is added after the fermentation which is why you see the words Non Dosé on the back label.

The juice spent 18 months on lees and was then disgorged and topped up with the same wine.

It is a light, lingering, savoury drink with excellent length. Good for matching to a wide range of foods.

RRP: $71 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Milan Vin de France Milan Nouveau 2019

Milan-Nouveau-2019

Although it doesn’t appear in the name it does on the label – this is another organic wine from the Milan team which has no added sulphur.This wine has been made over the past couple of years by Henri’s son, Theo.

This wine is 100% Mourvèdre which was fermented in two separate tanks. One underwent carbonic maceration and the other was fermented traditionally. They were then blended together prior to bottling.

This is a bright, light, lively wine that is drinking very nicely at the moment. It is a delicious wine.

RRP: $39 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Milan Luna & Gaïa 2017

Milan-Luna-&-Gaia-2017

The Luna & Gaïa is an extraordinary skin contact wine from the Milan family which, this year, is mainly Vermentino (Rolle) with the remainder comprising Chardonnay, Roussanne and Muscat. It was pressed and the skins remained with the juice for 20 days in a concrete tank. The juice was then transferred to a fibreglass tank where it settled for one year.

The name from this wine is derived from the two dogs of the domaine. Luna is a white Jack Russel and Gaïa is a black Labrador. The label was created by Roberto Hollis.

It has developed into an amazing wine! It has great length, beautiful soft tannins and a complexity that is very appealing.

This wine will match a wide range of foods, but can also serve very well as an aperitif wine if you want to mull over the complexity and the elegance that a skin contact wine can offer.

RRP: $63 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Milan Haru Rosé 2018

This fine rosé wine was created by Théo Milan from organic Cabernet Sauvignon and Mourvèdre grapes that thrive in limestone and clay soils.

The aromas give hints of white flowers and red fruits and on your first sip of this wine you will appreciate the delicate freshness that it exhibits.

This wine will work with a wide range of foods but can be sipped by itself at any time of day.

RRP: $33 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Milan Haru Rouge 2018

Milan-Haru-2018

This new cuvée from the Milan family is a delightful, light red wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache. This one was also made by Theo Milan and the influence of Japan on him shines through with the name Haru heralding the onset of spring.

The Cabernet Sauvignon (75%) was picked from a vineyard that was planted in the 1970s and underwent carbonic maceration to enhance the drinkability. The grenache 25% underwent classic whole bunch maceration just for 4-5 days to prevent excess extraction.

This treatment has resulted in very light tannins and a light colour for a red wine but it is extremely tasty and can be served slightly chilled.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Henri Milan IGP Alpilles Kumo Rouge 2018

Milan-Kumo-2018

In 2018 there was not enough Grenache available from the vineyard that is usually used to create the Milan S&X cuvée, so Théo invented a new cuvée to use the grapes that did survive.

These grapes were grown in clay and limestone soils and the juice was fermented and matured in large, old oak barrels as well as concrete tanks.

The result is a very fresh, light yet quite sophisticated and complex red wine that can be sipped chilled or enjoyed throughout a meal.

Once again, the Japanese influence on the winemaker, Theo Milan, is clear with Kumo being Japanese for cloud.

RRP: $118 for MAGNUM

Henri Milan Reynard Rebels 17+18

This delightful cuvée is made from purchased grapes from a friend who tends his vines biodynamically. Their friend had always sold to the local co-op and was paid the same price as others got for their inferior non-organic grapes.

When the Milan family asked if they could buy his Merlot and Carignan Mr Reynard rebelled and said yes.

The 2017 vintage produced a very intense, full bodied wine which is not a style that the Milan family want to promote. However the 2018 was much lighter and delicate so they decided to blend the two – and, just like the Three Bears, the result was just right!

RRP: SOLD OUT

Henri Milan Elliott Rouge 2017

Elliott is the charming son of Théo and Natalie who now has the honour of having a cuvée named after him.

This wine is made from old vines of Syrah and Grenache planted 50 years ago in the Milan’s Eyragues vineyard.

The juice was matured in an large old troconic foudre of a friend Mr Guilbert, but they had to take the juice to his cave because the foudre was too big to fit through the doors at the Milan’s winery. The wine was matured in the foudre for two years.

A little sulphur was added to this wine before bottling, although that is becoming unnecessary for most of the Milan wines as they learn more about how to handle wines so that they don’t need to use sulphites in their wine.

RRP: $72 for 750mls and $146 for MAGNUMS

Domaine Milan Ma Terre Rosé 2018

The Ma Terre Rosé is a light but very tasty rosé wine that has been made from Syrah and Cinsault. It was macerated on skins for approximately three days to develop the colour and the flavour without getting too much extraction.

There is only a tiny amount of this wine available but it is well worth seeking out.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Domaine Milan Sans Soufre Ajouté Rosé 2014

Milan Sans Souffre

Each year recently, Henri Milan has crafted a very interesting rosé wine by direct pressing of Mourvedre, Syrah and Grenache. The rosé is also a wine with no added sulphur.

It has a vibrant colour for a Provencal rose and a long lingering flavour in the mouth. It is perfect for drinking with a meal or as an aperitif.

This is an exceptional rosé of great character for which there was only a tiny allocation for Australia this year.

This wine is not filtered and there are sufficient deposits still in the bottle to enable lava light comparisons. Don’t even think about ordering it if you expect your rosés to be crystal clear.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Domaine Milan Sans Soufre Ajouté Rouge 2015

Milan Sans Souffre

The name of this wine gives you a clue about how it was made. In French the words ‘Sans Soufre Ajouté’ means no added sulphur. This wine has not had sulphur added to the bottle. The only sulphur in it is naturally occurring sulphur which is in miniscule quantities.

The wine has travelled well to Australia and displays a liveliness and freshness that is typical of naturally-made wines that have not had sulphur added. This is made using the same technique as the Domaine Milan above, with the grape varieties Grenache, Shiraz, Mourvedre and it only spends 8 months in old barriques.

No filtration or fining has been applied to this wine and only indigenous yeasts have been used to ferment the grapes. It is only 12.5% alcohol. This is a great wine for people who have developed a reaction to sulphur or for those addicted to the freshness of natural wines.

RRP: $43 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Milan Sans Soufre Ajouté Blanc 2014

The name of this wine gives you a clue about how it was made. In French the words ‘Sans Soufre Ajouté’ means no added sulphur. This wine has not had sulphur added to the bottle. The only sulphur in it is naturally occurring sulphur which is in miniscule quantities.

The wine has travelled well to Australia and displays a liveliness and freshness that is typical of naturally-made wines that have not had sulphur added.

The 2014 vintage is a particularly fine example of this blended wine. This vintage sees Grenache Blanc, Rolle (the local name for Vermentino), Roussanne, Chardonnay and Muscat à Petit Grains used in the blend. The wine was kept on lees in old barriques for 5 months. This is a beautiful wine that is fresh and lively now but will continue to change character and improve well into the future.

No filtration or fining has been applied to this wine. This is a great wine for people who have developed a reaction to sulphur.

RRP: $46 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Milan Le Vallon 2014

Le Vallon is a lively red wine that has only recently been released. It is made from grapes picked from vines that were planted in 1997 in a vineyard that is littered with limestone rocks dotted among red clay.

The wine is made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre which was only macerated on skins for 5 days. The wine spent 4 years maturing in a concrete tank before being bottled.

This is a delightful wine that has notes of stone fruit and spices from the garrigue.

RRP: $44 (SOLD OUT)

Domaine Milan Vin de France Le S&X Rouge 2012

Unusually for Domaine Milan, this red wine is made from 100% Grenache from an idea of Sebastien Xavier who has overseen the winery here for a number of years. The vines from which the Grenache was manually picked were at least 25 years old.

After fermentation with natural yeasts, the wine was matured in old wooden barriques for a period of 12 months.

This is a beautiful expression of Grenache which will age very gracefully for up to fifteen years.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Domaine Milan Vin de France Le Grand Blanc 2015

Milan-Grand-Blanc-2015

Domaine Milan’s Le Grand Blanc is a staff favourite. It is an intense, elegant, refined, gorgeous white wine.

British wine writer Jancis Robinson in an article entitled ‘A progress report on biodynamic wines in France’ summed it up in these words:

While it’s just a humble Vin de Table, this outclasses many a White Hermitage. It immediately commands attention with its pale gold sheen. An amazingly complex nose is on offer, spice notes come through first before the floral character – broom flowers and even a hint of lavender as it opened up. The complexity continues on the palate, rich and expressive, retaining a fresh character and nerve that underlines a lovely creaminess. Very long indeed, with a slightly bitter finish. This is a very “intellectual” wine; it makes you think and yet is wonderfully enjoyable too. A very long life ahead. Superb.

This vintage sees Grenache Blanc, Rolle (the local name for Vermentino), Roussanne, Chardonnay and Muscat à Petit Grains used in the blend. All the varieties, from vines planted in the 1990s are direct pressed and fermented together in a large concrete tank. They are then aged, partly in foudre and partly barrel and, finally more time in concrete tank. It was bottled in September 2018. This is a beautiful wine that is fresh and lively now but will continue to change character and improve well into the future.

RRP: $68

Domaine Milan Vin de Table La Carrée Roussanne

The La Carrée is a refined, elegant, complex wine that shows the wonderful characteristics of the Roussanne grape in its best light.

It is labelled as a Vin de France because white wines made from 100% Roussanne are not permitted in the Les Baux de Provence appellation.

The vines were planted in 1991 on blue clay soil. The grapes are direct pressed and the wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and aged in  barrel.

No filtration or fining is used to preserve the flavour of this special wine. This wine will keep for a long time and continue to improve in the bottle.  We only have a small supply of this sought-after wine as only 1000 bottles are produced.

RRP: $113 for 2011

Domaine Milan Vin de France Le Jardin

Milan-Le-Jardin

Henri Milan planted Merlot in his idyllic vineyards that crouch below the beautiful Alpilles mountains close to the picture postcard village of Saint Remy de Provence. His aim is to produce a local version of the famous Pétrus from Bordeaux!

This wine, called Le Jardin, is made from 100% Merlot grapes and is matured in 90% old oak barrels and 10% new oak. Henri believes passionately that his vineyards can eventually produce a wine to match that of its western rival.

Production is small with only 2500 bottles made each year.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Domaine Milan Clos Milan Rouge 2006

Clos_Milan_2006

The Clos Milan is Henri Milan’s premium red wine made from 75% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre and 20% Shiraz (Syrah). The grapes come from vines that are at least 42 years old that grow in Quaternary sands and gravels. The combination of the interesting minerality of the soils and the organic treatment of the vines means that they are able to absorb more minerals from the soils and transmit them to the grapes.

The grapes are destemmed and fermented in cement tanks for about three weeks then aged in old 225 litre barriques. The result is an elegant, perfumed, smooth, luscious wine that can be drunk now or will age further.

Only tiny quantities of this wine are made.

RRP: SOLD OUT