NOTE: d’Armailhac 2018 is due to arrive in 2021.
d’Armailhac is part of the Mouton-Rothschild empire. It is 50.9 hectare of vines in Pauillac. The vines split into 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. In addition, the vineyard contains vines dating back to 1890. This is everything that Pauillac should be. That is to say ripe, elegant, structured, long-lasting, and delicious. In short, d’Armailhac is a bargain.
“The 2018 D’Armailhac (14.5% alcohol) is composed of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, harvested September 12 to October 3. Deep garnet-purple colored, it reveals a very fruity nose of crushed blackberries, warm black cherries and mulberries plus hints of potpourri, spice cake and pencil shavings. Full-bodied, the decadent palate delivers loads of black berry layers and a firm, grainy frame with underlying freshness and an earthy finish. Wonderfully opulent D’Armailhac!” (LPB) (4/2019) 91-93 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The powerhouse of the Left Bank. It contains three of the five first growth wines in the Medoc and a wealth of other great Chateaux beyond that. It combines the cool charm of St-Julien to the South and the rugged richness of St-Estephe to the North. Therefore Pauillac is the benchmark for classic Bordeaux. Cabernet Sauvignon reigns here. In a great vintage, Pauillac wines keep forever.
The main grape of Bordeaux’s left bank. Cabernet is late ripening and full of acid and tannin. The great wines are structured but finessed with beautiful cassis, violets and it also transmits the flavours of the soil it is grown in really well. Cabernet isn’t a drink now variety, it really needs 10 or more years to show its best. But when you get there, WOW! Often blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc or in Australia Shiraz to fill out its mid-palate referred to as the ‘Cabernet doughnut’.
It gets a tough time most of the places it is grown. But in Pomerol and Saint-Emilion Merlot not only dominates but makes some of the best wines in the world. Perfume, silky and plush. Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon season the wines with structure and acid but in some places, like Petrus, they are almost not needed.
Is actually one of the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon… along with Sauvignon Blanc (oh! The name makes sense now!). It is most famous for being the third most important grape in quality Bordeaux but also excels in the Loire Valley (where it lived before it went to Bordeaux), especially Chinon and Saumur. The wines are bright red in colour, highlight aromatic with raspberries, rose petals, violets along with tobacco, cassis and some herbal elements. The best examples can live as long as any great wine.
Quality Red Bordeaux in 2018 will be deeply coloured, aromatically complex, and opulent in the mouth. While it sounds like they will be ready to go from day one, most experts are predicting this is a vintage for long-term cellaring. Think 30 years or more! It wasn’t the best start to the vintage so quality is not uniform. Look for Northern Medoc, Margaux, Pomerol and Saint-Emilion.