Chateau d'Armailhac Pauillac 2018
|France, Bordeaux, Pauillac
Complex aromas of blackcurrant, black olive, clove, oyster shell, pencil lead and tobacco. It’s full-bodied with firm, tightly knit tannins. Concentrated and focused with a very long, spice and mineral finish. Fantastic bottle. Try from 2026.
Armailhac has held its success from en primeur and has further gained in weight during ageing. This is a wine that is changing a little in style, deepening in profile and upping the new oak for ageing from 30% to 50% (and staying in barrel for a little longer). Unusually high alcohols for this corner of Pauillac, likely from the concentration that happened in September on the Armailhac gravels (there is less clay in the soil at this spot). It comes through in a rich mouthfeel, chewy tannins and chocolate-covered damson fruits. 5% Petit Verdot completes the blend. Bottled mid-May. New winery under way. Drinking Window 2026 - 2044
The core of ripe cassis, plum sauce and raspberry purée flavors have a succulent feel, while licorice snap, graphite and singed alder notes play along the edges. Nice glycerine feel through the focused and fine-grained finish. Tempting now, but time will bring more nuance. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Best from 2022 through 2035.
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 D’Armailhac (a blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot) hits the ground running with wonderfully open-knit, flamboyant scents of Morello cherries, black raspberries, blackcurrant jelly and rose oil, leading to an undercurrent of cinnamon toast, aniseed and mossy tree bark. The medium to full-bodied palate is charged with energy and expressiveness, delivering red and black berry layers with loads of spicy sparks, framed by plush tannins, finishing long and fragrant.
A ripe, juicy wine with great freshness and swathes of black-currant fruits, this is already delicious. Plenty of tannins back up the fruits and push the wine towards a rich future, but the balance is already there. Drink this wine from the Mouton-Rothschild stable from 2025.
Awesome notes of camphor, new leather, cedar pencil, chocolate, and cassis emerge from the 2018 Château D'Armailhac, a full-bodied, concentrated Pauillac that stays nicely focused on the palate, with firm yet ripe tannins, wonderful purity, and a great finish. In short, it's a classic Pauillac that needs 4-6 years of bottle age and should have two decades of prime drinking.
The 2018 d'Armailhac is bright, fresh and so inviting, just as it was en primeur. Sweet red cherry fruit, cedar, spice, tobacco and anise add lovely aromatic complexity. All of the intensity of the year comes through nicely and yet the personality of Armailhac is evident also. I would cellar the 2018 for at least a few years, to allow some of the baby fat to melt away. There is a bit more breadth and richness that is the result of yields that were just 32 hectoliters per hectare as opposed to the more typical 42 or so. It was a vintage marked by heat stress, small berries and lower juice to skin ratio, as well as some parcels affected by mildew.