2011 Ch. d'Armailhac, Pauillac

2011 Ch. d'Armailhac, Pauillac

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Chateau d'Armailhac | Code: 11967 | 2011 | France > Bordeaux > Pauillac | Cab.Sauvignon Blend | Medium Bodied, Dry | 13.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

BBR

17/20

DECANTER

17/20

PARKER

90-92/100

WS

90-93/100

DECANTER - Lovely expression of spicy, slightly exotic black fruits, beautiful lift of freshness and briary charm - a lovely wine for the medium term.
Decanter - Bordeaux 2011 coverage - April 2012

PARKER - A strong effort from this property situated between Pontet-Canet and Mouton Rothschild, d’Armailhac’s blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot and the rest mostly Cabernet Franc and a touch of Petit Verdot was harvested between September 14-24. Its deep ruby color is accompanied by abundant aromas of black fruits, white chocolate, licorice and flowers. Medium-bodied, expressive, savory, pure and long with sweet tannins, it should drink well for 15+ years.
Robert Parker - Wine Advocate - April 2012

WS - Bright and racy, with pronounced acidity giving nice cut to the red currant, plum and cherry notes. A singed wood hint slides in on the finish, adding length and definition. Not massive, but pure and precise.
Wine Spectator's 2011 Top-Scoring Red Bordeaux
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator, April 10, 2012

The Story

Chateau d'Armailhac

Producer

Chateau d'Armailhac

Château d'Armailhac, a 5eme Cru Classé Pauillac property, is located immediately next to Château Mouton-Rothschild. No other Bordeaux château has undergone as many name changes. In 1956 it was known as Mouton d'Armailhacq before it was renamed, first as Mouton Baron Philippe, then as Mouton Baronne Philippe.

Since 1989 its original identity has been restored and it is now known as Château d'Armailhac. Baron Philippe de Rothschild bought the estate in 1933 and it remains in the hands of his daughter, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild.

D'Armailhac has 50 hectares of vineyards which are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (23%) and Petit Verdot (2%) The grapes are hand picked, de-stemmed and vinified in the traditional way.

D'Armailhac is matured in a combination of new oak barrels (30%) and 2nd fill barrels from Mouton Rothschild. The wine has improved significantly over the last decade, and now represents one of Pauillac's shrewdest buys.

Grape

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cab.Sauvignon Blend

Cabernet Sauvignon lends itself particularly well in blends with Merlot. This is actually the archetypal Bordeaux blend, though in different proportions in the sub-regions and sometimes topped up with Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

In the Médoc and Graves the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend can range from 95% (Mouton-Rothschild) to as low as 40%. It is particularly suited to the dry, warm, free- draining, gravel-rich soils and is responsible for the redolent cassis characteristics as well as the depth of colour, tannic structure and pronounced acidity of Médoc wines. However 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines can be slightly hollow-tasting in the middle palate and Merlot with its generous, fleshy fruit flavours acts as a perfect foil by filling in this cavity.

In St-Emilion and Pomerol, the blends are Merlot dominated as Cabernet Sauvignon can struggle to ripen there - when it is included, it adds structure and body to the wine. Sassicaia is the most famous Bordeaux blend in Italy and has spawned many imitations, whereby the blend is now firmly established in the New World and particularly in California and  Australia.

Region

Pauillac

Pauillac is the aristocrat of the Médoc boasting boasting 75 percent of the region’s First Growths and with Grand Cru Classés representing 84 percent of Pauillac's production.

For a small town, surrounded by so many familiar and regal names, Pauillac imparts a slightly seedy impression. There are no grand hotels or restaurants – with the honourable exception of the establishments owned by Jean-Michel Cazes – rather a small port and yacht harbour, and a dominant petrochemical plant.

Yet outside the town, , there is arguably the greatest concentration of fabulous vineyards throughout all Bordeaux, including three of the five First Growths. Bordering St Estèphe to the north and St Julien to the south, Pauillac has fine, deep gravel soils with important iron and marl deposits, and a subtle, softly-rolling landscape, cut by a series of small streams running into the Gironde. The vineyards are located on two gravel-rich plateaux, one to the northwest of the town of Pauillac and the other to the south, with the vines reaching a greater depth than anywhere else in the Médoc.

Pauillac's first growths each have their own unique characteristics; Lafite Rothschild, tucked in the northern part of Pauillac on the St Estèphe border, produces Pauillac's most aromatically complex and subtly-flavoured wine. Mouton Rothschild's vineyards lie on a well-drained gravel ridge and - with its high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon - can produce (in its best years) Pauillac's most decadently rich, fleshy and exotic wine.

Latour, arguably Bordeaux's most consistent First Growth, is located in southern Pauillac next to St Julien. Its soil is gravel-rich with superb drainage, and Latour's vines penetrate as far as five metres into the soil. It produces perhaps the most long-lived wines of the Médoc.

Recommended Châteaux
Ch. Lafite-Rothschild, Ch. Latour, Ch. Mouton-Rothschild, Ch. Pichon-Longueville Baron, Ch. Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande, Ch. Lynch-Bages, Ch. Grand-Puy-Lacoste, Ch, Pontet-Canet, Les Forts de Latour, Ch. Haut-Batailley, Ch. Batailley, Ch. Haut-Bages Libéral.

Customer Reviews
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