Very Pauillac on the nose in 2019, with deep cassis notes and plenty of gravelly depth. The palate is intense and grippy, and beautifully classically styled. This is an outstanding Armailhac.
This year the blend is 62% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 19th of September to the 9th of October. The 2019 D'Armailhac sports a medium to deep garnet-purple color and notes of warm plums, stewed cherries, mulberries and blackcurrant pastilles with touches of aniseed, wild thyme and chocolate box. The medium-bodied palate has a firm frame of fine-grained tannins and bold freshness supporting the expressive black and blue fruits, finishing with a provocative herbal lift.
Thoroughly enjoyable Armailhac, with concentration immediately apparent on the nose, more so than in many vintages of this wine. There's a pleasing austerity to the tannins giving a confident but not overbearing structure with lovely juiciness on the finish. Of the three Pauillac estates in the Mouton stable, this has the youngest vines as an average age (although also some of the oldest vines in the whole of the Médoc, dating back to the 1890s) which sometimes holds it back from reaching full complexity of expression, but that is not something you'll be complaining about here. Instead you get a fresh core, silkily textured blackberry and cassis fruits with good balance. This is the last vintage made in the old facilities, as they are about to re-do the cellars.
Harvest began around one week earlier than average, on September 18, spread out through to October 9. Petit Verdot 2% completes the blend. Tasted twice one week apart.
The 2019 d'Armailhac was the last vintage made in the old winery that has since been demolished to make way for a new gravity-fed facility that will be equipped with 50 smaller vats tailored to the parcels in the vineyard. It will provide greater space that will permit longer élevage if desired. It is fascinating to juxtapose again its Clerc Milon stablemate. There is more amplitude on the nose, it is more forthright with blackberry, wild hedgerow, tobacco and a subtle leather aroma. It comes across less high-toned than previous vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannins and slightly more mid-palate depth/grip than the Clerc Milon. The crescendo here is wonderful, fanning out towards the finish with subtle black pepper, sage and mint notes. This is a delicious d'Armailhac in the making.
Young 2025 - 2045
Prices shown in bond
Ready 2013 - 2028
Ready 2008 - 2030