2013 d'Armailhac, Pauillac (Pre-Arrival)
The 2013 is very pretty and silky in the glass. Violets, plums, smoke, tobacco and graphite meld together effortlessly in a gracious, mid-weight wine that impresses for its length, energy and vibrancy. Overall, this is a solid showing for the year, although some slight elements of greenness lurk beneath the fruit. The blend is 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot, harvested between October 1 and 14. Tasted twice.
Pure black cassis fruit, light style on the palate. Slightly simple on the mid palate, though the spiciness is very charming on the finish. Correct balance, easy drinking – especially for Pauillac. (RH)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(59% cabernet sauvignon, 28% merlot, 12% cabernet franc and 1% petit verdot): Ruby-red. Plum, redcurrant, licorice and violet on the nose. Fresh, juicy and pure, showing flavors of blackberry, coffee and spicy herbs. Very precise wine thanks to lively, harmonious acidity. Finishes with sweet tannins and very good length. The yields (40 h/h) were the highest of any of the Mouton-Rothschild estates because the younger merlot didn't suffer shatter; once again, though, the aroma and flavor profile of this wine is heavily influenced by its old-vine cabernet franc. This may be even better than it's showing today.
Founded in 1750 as Château Mouton-d'Armailhacq, which was its name until the 1955 Classification when it was changed to Château d'Armailhac (and classified as a Fifth Growth), this estate's 126 acres are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petit Verdot. Baron Philippe de Rothschild purchased the estate in 1934 and it remains under ownership of the Mouton side of the Rothschild family.