The Milhade family acquired Château Boutisse in 1996 but for consumers 2005 is a more important date to remember. This was the year the quality of the wine began distinctly to improve. It was also the year Xavier Milhade took on sole ownership and his son, Marc, the management.
The 25 hectare property is located in the eastern sector of the appellation at St-Christophe-des-Bardes. About half the vineyard is located on the clay-limestone soils of the plateau, the rest on deeper clay and sand. Much work has gone into renovating and improving the vineyard but from 2005 yields were reduced and the selection became more severe.Other changes included investment in sorting tables, smaller vinification tanks and air-conditioning for the cellars.
The wine is made principally from Merlot (85–90%) with Cabernet Sauvignon the other blending component. There is also a tiny percentage of Cabernet Franc and recently planted Carmenère which may be integrated in future years. In 2008 15 percent of the production was vinified in 500 litre oak barrels (half new, half one-year), a technique that has since been continued. “It gives greater concentration and volume to the wine as well as adding an extra touch of aromatic complexity,” explains Marc Milhade.
Dark in colour, the wines now show a modern expression of St-Emilion. The fruit is pronounced, the tannins rounded and there’s the extra concentration and gras that Marc Milhade has been striving to obtain. They are best drunk from six to seven years.