|Grapes||Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv|
|Classification||5ème Cru Classé|
Lovely balance of bright fruit and a subtle sweet/dry interplay of fruit and tannin. Spicy fruit in the finish. All a bit of a gourmandise. Rating: 90-91 L&S (Apr 2016)
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Berries and smoke with some wet-earth and leather undertones. Medium to full body, round and velvety tannins and a juicy and delicious finish. Like the walnut and coffee undertone. Drinking range: 2020 - Rating: 93 James Suckling, www.jamessuckling.com (Feb 2018)
The assemblage is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. A very pure, bright, slightly dusty black cherry fruit on the nose, with a rather reserved presence. The palate is tense, medium-bodied, with a rather taut structure, and a little stretched midpalate flesh to fill it out. It feels very low-key and understated in style, with a cranberry tartness, and the fruit character is currently suppressed by some oaky lactones. Then, on the finish, a lovely flourish of confident fruit, which is otherwise hiding beneath that oak at present, and some tannic bite. This feels polished, quite supple, but with a very relaxed presence, and a relatively short finish. Rating: 15-16/20 Chris Kissack, www.thewinedoctor.com (Apr 2016)
Rating: 90 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com (Apr 2016)
Château d’Armailhac, which has had more names than it has needed over the years (having been Château d’Armailhacq, Château Mouton-d’Armailhacq, Château Mouton-Baron-Philippe, Château Mouton-Baronne-Philippe finally, Château d’Armailhac), was originally part of a larger Pauillac estate owned by the Marquis de Ségur. This was sold off in three lots, which became Château’s Pontet-Canet, d’Armailhac and Mouton-Rothschild. It came into common ownership with its famous neighbour to the north in 1933 when Baron Philippe de Rothschild bought the estate. There are 50ha under vine, which are planted to just under 60% Cabernet Sauvignon with roughly 20% each of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, and a tiny amount of Petit Verdot. The wines spend around 16 months in barrique, about 30% new oak with rest being old barrels from Château Mouton Rothschild. The wines are, generally, softer than other wines from Pauillac or other wines in the Rothschild portfolio, but amongst the best value. The relatively high proportions of Merlot and Cabernet Franc make d’Armailhac a good bet in lesser vintages too.
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