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 and daughter Emmanuelle 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 2015

This is a dry sparkling wine from the Milan stable with this one being fermented from 90% Grenache and 10% Syrah which was grown on clay and limestone.

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 shown below.

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

RRP: SOLD OUT

Domaine Milan Vin de France Milan Nouveau 2016

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 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: SOLD OUT

Domaine Milan Sans Soufre Ajouté Rosé 2014

Milan Sans SouffreEach 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 2013

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, Cinsault and Cabernet Sauvignon 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: 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

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 2014

Henri Milan Grand BlancDomaine 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 deGrand Blanc 2Table, 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. The wine was matured in old barrels on the lees for twelve months. This is a beautiful wine that is fresh and lively now but will continue to change character and improve well into the future.

RRP: SOLD OUT

Henri Milan La Saco Noble Irago 2011

Henri-Milan-La-Saco-2011This wine has recently arrived in Australia after being bottled this year. The grapes were picked in early September 2011 after being ‘non-intentionally’ matured and the Grenache Blanc was directly pressed and transferred to a tank. It spent a lot of time in a tank and became oxidative. Then it was a matter of waiting. Only five grams of residual sugar remain so it is almost dry.

Ironically, we first discovered this wine not at the vineyard but at a one-night popup in 2016 at Chardon in Arles, when Luke Burgress and Deborah Blank created a meal matched with Domaine Milan’s wines. The vineyard is quite close to Arles and Luke had met Théo when he came to Australia a couple of years earlier. We just happened to be in France at the time. While tasting for possible matches with Théo Milan prior to the dinner, they discovered this wine, which had been hidden away. They teamed it with a dish of skate with fresh Espelette pepper and the match was perfect.

We only bought 24 bottles and, having tried one since it arrived, can report that it’s equally as compelling and unique as it was in Arles. The bottles are 500 mls.

RRP: $51

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 Table because white wines made from 100% Roussanne are not permitted in the Les Baux de Provence appellation.

This wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts, matured in tanks for a year and then transferred to barriques for a further 9 months.

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, $88 for 2012 and $90 for 2013

Domaine Milan Vin de France Le Jardin

Milan-Le-JardinHenri 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: $110 for 2011 and $90 for 2013

Domaine Milan Clos Milan Rouge 2006

Clos_Milan_2006The 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