2012 d'Armailhac, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)
Features a solid core of anise and plum, with a briary frame and light tobacco shading that should emerge with time. Shows good substance and weight. Tasted non-blind.
This fruity wine is soft and open with flavors of ripe red-berry fruits and fresh acidity. It's expressive with immediately attractive tannins.
This is a very attractive young wine. Medium-to-full body, with creamy tannins and a fresh finish. Refined for the vintage.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A stronger effort than its stablemate, Clerc-Milon, the 2012 d'Armailhac is an intriguing blend of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Complex notes of menthol, coffee beans, black cherries and black currants are followed by a rich, medium-bodied wine with copious tannin as well as sufficient fat and flesh to cover the structure. The harvest took place during the first ten days of October, most of the grapes being brought in prior to the deluge that began on October 7 and lasted until October 9. This excellent Pauillac is a successful Medoc in this challenging vintage for this region.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good medium ruby-red. Enticing, pure aromas of blackcurrant, raspberry, red licorice, violet and crushed stone on the knockout nose. Fresh, dense and suave; a step up in intensity from most Pauillacs in this vintage, with brisk acidity framing the perfumed flavors of dark berries, sweet spices and minerals. Finishes very long and smooth, with sneaky aromatic persistence. As usual, Armailhac is heavily dominated on the nose by its cabernet franc component, giving it amazingly refined violet and cocoa aromas. If you are surprised by the 3% petit verdot in a vintage characterized by a very wet late season (which is normally when the late-ripening petit verdot needs sunlight and warmth), the 18-year-old petit verdot vines at Armailhac are of particularly high quality, according to general director Philippe Dhalluin. 'Petit verdot likes to have its head in the sun and its feet in the water,' said Dhalluin. 'The best vines we own are located in the Behère area at the southwestern tip of our estate near the river, so these vines have lots of heat and water, which allowed them to weather the difficult conditions of 2012.' Superb wine in the making.
Heady and fragrant. No trace of underripeness on the nose but a slight lack of generosity on the palate. Peppery! (Unusual.) Dry and neat but not scrawny. Lots of complexity and pleasure with the bracing signature of the vintage only on the very end. This has some St-Estèphe minerally notes on the finish. An attractive whole with a cool, confident finish. 17/20 points.
54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot.