Bright purple in colour, this has an excellent balance between sweetness of fruit and positive fresh acidity. Extremely giving and very pure Cabernet flavours. It is a fine example of the success of the Pauillac appellation in 2014.
The Château d’Armailhac 2014 is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot (slightly more Merlot than usual.) It will be matured in around one-third new oak. The opulence and richness is immediately apparent on the nose with hints of black olive infusing the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly grainy tannin, quite dense black fruit with a spicy attack towards the saline finish. It feels a little abrasive at the moment but the rough edges should be rounded by the time.
Mid crimson. Clean, sweet and mild on the nose, a little toasty and some polish. Correct and not too drying, with some green notes - very un-luscious. A little demanding and austere but with good energy and sleekness. The finish is impressively long. An interesting wine that is so low key that at first I almost overlooked it. Drink 2021-2032
Bright, juicy and engaging, with a racy damson plum and red currant core striped with singed cedar and vanilla and backed by a good twinge of iron. This is brisk and pleasantly taut. Textbook Pauillac.
Very minerally, silky and refined with a full body, firm tannins and currants, stones and citrus. Racy and fine. This has a little more merlot in the blend but is mostly cabernet sauvignon as always. One of the best Armailhacs in a long time.
The 2014 d'Armailhac is absolutely delicious. Dark red cherry, plum, pomegranate, spice and floral notes are bold and exuberant in the glass. This is an especially extroverted, silky d'Armailhac long on class, finesse and resonance. All the elements are in the right place. Ripe, silky tannins add to an overall impression of creaminess, but there is also a terrific element of pure energy here. The 2014 has a bit more Merlot in the blend than usual and also clocks in around 13.8% in alcohol, which is high for the estate. More importantly, though, d'Armailhac is a real overachiever in this vintage. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
The aromatics of Cabernet Franc, Merlot's richness and Cabernet Sauvignon's firmness blend seamlessly into a beautifully made, polished wine. Drink: 2019-2028
(50 Cabernet Sauvignon, 36 Merlot, 12 Cabernet Franc, 2 Petit Verdot) A touch of leafiness and tart tannins on the finish bookend some rather nice cassis fruit. The body is buoyant and bold but not quite lush enough to offset the slightly raw elements which permeate the core. With decent length and fairly classic dimensions this is a considered effort and one which will age well and do what the label suggests it will but not much more.
For years this château had an identity crisis having almost as many names as France has had epublics. It was created in the 18th century by Dominique d'Armailhac from a section of landituated between Mouton Rothschild and Pontet Canet and hence named Mouton d'Armailhac. In 1933, itwas acquired by the Mouton branch of the Rothschild family and in 1956, its name was changed toMouton-Baron-Philippe after Philippe de Rothschild. Almost 20 years later, the Baron Philippe'swife died, and he changed the name to Mouton-Baronne-Philippe in her memory. If that was not enough, in 1989 the name reverted back to d'Armailhac in order to curb confusion with their brand,Mouton Cadet. Despite its chameleon-like name changes, for the past 20 years its quality has been consistent...
Due south of St Estèphe lies the appellation of Pauillac, the king of Left Bank communes. It is home to three first growths as well as a plethora of other classified growths. Pauillac's renowned well-draining, gravelly soils enable its dominant grape Cabernet Sauvignon to reach fantastic heights of complexity and concentration. As a result, Pauilac's wines tend to be full-bodied with compact tannins and good freshness. Its aromatics are often what one associates with classic Bordeaux: pencil shavings, black currant and occasional mint. Some of the most famous châteaux of the commune are Latour, Mouton Rothschild, Lafite Rothschild, Pichon Baron, Pichon Lalande and Lynch Bages.