|Grapes||Cab Sauv, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Cab Franc|
|Classification||5ème Cru Classé|
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Small berry fruits and bell pepper notes on the nose. The texture is smooth on entry. Good weight and depth. Tiny tannins and crisp acidity add to the structure. Notes of cassis, graphite and cedar but still quite reserved. Looks very promising. Rating: 90-91 L&S (Apr 2018)
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The 2017 d’Armailhac has an opulent bouquet despite this comprising one of the highest percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon ever, which Philippe Dhalluin attributes to the maturity of the berries. There is some lovely cassis and blueberry fruit here with a smear of vanilla. The palate is structured with fine tannin, here the Cabernets are much more expressive with a fine bead of acidity, an attractive pencil lead tincture coming through towards the finish. This is a more floral d’Armailhac that will drink well for the next decades. [Readers should note that my sample included 60% new oak although the final blend will be 40%.] Tasted three times with consistent notes. Drinking range: 2020 - 2035 Rating: 90-92 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2018)
68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Very dark crimson with purple rim. Intense aroma of pure cassis and graphite, inviting mineral dustiness. Rich and full-fruited on the palate. Again, there's depth here as well as freshness. Chalky/chewy tannins on the finish but balanced by the fruit. Mouth-watering finish. Drinking range: 2025 - 2037 Rating: 16.5 Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2018)
A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2017 D'Armailhac is deep garnet-purple in color and very open on the nose with expressive notes of crushed black cherries, black raspberries and cassis with hints of baking spices, lavender and wood smoke. The palate is medium-bodied with a great core of vibrant red and black fruits, ripe, grainy tannins and superb freshness, finishing long and minerally. Rating: 90-92 Lisa Perrotti-Brown, RobertParker.com (Apr 2018)
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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