Chateau d'Armailhac 2011, Pauillac 5th Growth
Deep ruby with tight rim, Chateau d d'Armailhac 2011 noses dry flowers and classic Pauillac fruit of cassis, plums and blackberry. Matured in a combination of new oak barrels (30%) and 2nd fill barrels from Mouton Rothschild, this gives excellent tertiary tones of cedar, chocolate and licorice. This is a structured wine with some freshness and intensity on its medium finish, and as rightly put by JS, there is always certain softness to the palate and so is a ready Pauillac. It now represents one of Pauillac's shrewdest buys.
This 2011, we believe, can keep on evolving for the next 2 to 3 years. 2011 is one of the driest and sunny year for Left Bank, and there is nice structure the way we see it. Rainfall in 2011 for Chateau d d'Armailhac is over 30% off the normal; yield is low for the vintage. So there is always certain intensity; price for chateau d d'Armailhac 2011 is quite stable. Early ripening in May built certain freshness and palate refinement; heat for 2 weeks in August gave certain palate ripeness. Overall, this wine made a good statement for 2011 vintage on the whole.
Notable score are:
92 Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (200), April 2012
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.
92 Neal Martin, RobertParker.com, April 2012
The 2011 Chateau d'Armailhac is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. Tasted on three occasions, it is has fine purity with black cherries and raspberry leaf, a less flamboyant d'Armailhac that usual at this early juncture. The palate is medium-bodied with a sappy, succulent entry that has fine tension. I appreciate the balance and substance of this d'Armailhac that shows impressive cohesion and a fine, chalky tannic frame towards the finish. This should turn out to be a respectable 2011. Tasted April 2012.
92 James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, April 2012
The wine has a lovely softness to it with a chocolate, currant and blueberry character. Full body, with velvety tannins and juicy finish. Savory wine. 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 13% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
94 Tim Atkin MW, timatkin.com, April 2012
One of an impressive line up from the Mouton stable, this is very approachable for the vintage, showing sweet, violet-scented aromas, notes of incense, blackcurrant and Christmas cake and supple, well-integrated tannins. Comparatively inexpensive, this is a wine that will provide a lot of pleasure. 8+ years.
94 Wine Enthusiast.
Barrel sample. Packed with dark tannins and spicy wood, the wine is rich, dark and very structured. It is powered as much by its tannins as its wood.