2010 is considered a benchmark vintage in Bordeaux. The season was warm and dry with cool evenings producing small berries, thick skins, ripe tannins, high sugar levels concentrated flavours and balanced acidity. The 2010 d’Armailhac is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Fragrant with ripe fruit, smooth, fine-grained tannins and superb balance. A very elegant wine. Drink 2020-2030.
...sensational effort... this blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot shows complex floral notes intermixed with forest floor, camphor, blackcurrants and mulberries that all jump from the glass of this aromatic style of d'Armailhac. This wine possesses very good acidity, a surprisingly higher percentage of Merlot than usual, but the quality is impressive... should age nicely for 15-20+ years. 93 points, Wine Advocate (3/2013).
...the 2010 achieved in excess of 14% natural alcohol. It exhibits a dense ruby/purple colour along with a pronounced nose of underbrush, cedarwood, licorice and blackcurrants. This attractive, elegant, mid-weight Pauillac should be drinkable early in life and last for 15+ years. 89-92 points, Wine Advocate (3/2011).
The 2010 d'Armailhac has a fabulous, opulent bouquet, with black cherries, boysenberry, almond and hints of cooked meat as it dabbles with secondary aromas. The palate is medium-bodied, with bold tannin, grippy in the mouth and immense weight. This is a very structured d'Armailhac... There is great density here -- tensile and bold, with a grippy finish. It is a long-term prospect. Drink 2021-2040. 92 points, Wine Advocate (6/2017).
...has an intense bouquet with blackberry and briary aromas leaping from the glass, quickly followed by cedar and tobacco scents, later something more exotic like crème de cassis. The palate is medium-bodied with quite dry but fine tannins. It feels saline in the mouth with very good acidity and hints of black olive compote towards the austere but compelling finish. This is generating a lot of pleasure now and over the next 15 to 20 years. 93 points, Wine Advocate (2/2014).
...reticent on the nose with lifted dark cherry and blackberry fruit; some attractive sage and cedarwood scents emerging with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with a succulent entry. This has a fleshy, silky texture, the 30% new oak deftly integrated into the black fruit profile with a slight chewiness towards the finish. This is a very accomplished d'Armailhac, the 15% Cabernet Franc lending this Pauillac an attractive peppery note on the aftertaste. 92 points, Wine Advocate (11/2012).
The nose is a little muted at the moment despite rigorous coaxing, quite Zen-like with crushed stone, traces of blackberry leaf and cassis, gaining momentum with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly abrasive tannins on the entry although they will soften. This is a relatively masculine d'Armailhac without the glycerine you often find at this stage. More masculine, the Cabernet Sauvignon driving along to a stern but fresh finish. Good potential, but it will require cellaring more than usual. 90-92 points, Wine Advocate (5/2011).
Dark crimson. Bit dull and unformed. Seems so angular after the 2009s! So young and chewy!!! Buy this wine from the same stable as first growth Ch Mouton Rothschild to keep. Drink 2017-2030. 16.5/20, jancisrobinson.com (1/2013).
Very ripe and scented and strangely integrated! Sweet yet with real race and freshness. Tannins well covered... Healthy crimson. Sweet, creamy nose. Real lift and polish. Slightly green on the end. The tannins are almost entirely hidden! Mid weight... Very dark purple. Not much nose. Very luscious start to the palate and some lovely structure. Really appetising and very dry on the end. Pauillac gravelly flavours. Long. Well balanced. No brute but no coquette either. Great vivaciousness and balance. Drink 2020-2035. 17/20 points, jancisrobinson.com (5/2011).
Beautifully concentrated black fruits, already has florality and spice, refreshingly elegant and classy, a wine with individuality, spice and (for Pauillac) charm. Drink 2017-28. 17.5/20 points, Stephen Spurrier (5/2011).
Pauillac is Bordeaux’s most acclaimed appellation, the only one with three Premier Cru properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild, Château Mouton-Rothschild and Château Latour. These and other Pauillac chateaux produce robust, full-flavored and long-lived red wines made from Cabernet-based blends. Though winemaking techniques and microclimates vary throughout Pauillac, producing some variations in style, classic Pauillac wines have juicy flavours of blackcurrant and cedar, often with coffee, chocolate and graphite notes. Pauillac, part of the Médoc region on Bordeaux’s Left Bank, has gravelly and well-drained soils that force vines to grow long and strong roots. Struggling a bit for water, the vines produce grapes with high tannins and concentrated juices. Nearby rivers and the Atlantic Ocean modulate temperatures, preventing the grapes from ripening too quickly. Such grapes make powerful wines that may age and improve for decades. However, in Pauillac, as in other old-world wine regions, some winemakers are working to develop softer red wines that maintain the local wines’ traditional substance and flavours, but are more approachable immediately upon release.