A blend of 68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, the 2017 D'Armailhac is deep garnet-purple in colour 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... Part of the Mouton-Rothschild family of Châteaux, while in 2017 there was no frost at Mouton, there was just a little at d’Armailhac. Winemaker Philippe Dhalluin noted that the drought at the beginning of the growing season ensured that the bunches consisted of many small berries. In fact, the Merlot was a bit stressed and suffered a little, thus Dhalluin felt it was more of a Cabernet year here in Pauillac. Yields are down on 2016 only by about 10%. The final blends were made in mid-November because the malo-lactic fermentations progressed so quickly. 90-92 points, Wine Advocate.
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. Drink 2025-2037. 16/20 points, jancisrobinson.com.
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... Tasted three times with consistent notes. 90-92 points, Wine Advocate.
Opulent and powerful for d’Armailhac with blackcurrants, blackberries and black olives. Full-bodied, tannic and extremely muscular. Very well done indeed. 93-94 points, jamessuckling.com
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.