2012 d'Armailhac, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1128653 90-93 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (4/ 2013)

90-92 points Wine Enthusiast

 This fruity wine is soft and open with flavors of ripe red-berry fruits and fresh acidity. It's expressive with immediately attractive tannins.  (4/ 2013)

91 points James Suckling

 This is a very attractive young wine. Medium-to-full body, with creamy tannins and a fresh finish. Refined for the vintage.  (4/ 2013)

89-91 points 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.  (4/ 2013)

88-91 points 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.  (6/ 2013)

Jancis Robinson

 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.  (4/ 2013)

K&L Notes

54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot.

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Varietal:

Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.
Country:

France

- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.
Sub-Region:

Bordeaux

- View our bestselling Bordeaux.
Specific Appellation:

Pauillac

- Pauillac is probably the most famous village in Bordeaux. Located between St. Julien and St. Estephe, it has more of the top ranked chateau than the other four appellations of the Haut Medoc. This area has three of the five premier cru classe wineries: Lafite Rothschild, Latour, and Mouton Rothschild. There are two of the top second-growths (Pichon Lalande and Pichon Baron) as well as several outstanding fourth and fifth-growth chateaux including Lynch Bages. Because of the gravely soils and great drainage, Pauillac has the ideal conditions to grow great Cabernet Sauvignon. The wines from this village are some of the longest-lived in Bordeaux.