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    02:51 AM
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    91 Tb
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    451
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    3
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History

The existence of Château d’Armailhac dates back to the late 17th century, as evidenced in a land register from 1680 which mentions the brothers Dominique and Guilhem Armailhacq, owners of parcels of land in Pauillac. Another land register from 1750 notes that their descendants have “planted with vines” the family estate, covering 15 to 16 hectares (37-39 acres).

By the end of the 18th century the estate has grown to 52 hectares (128 acres) but the brokers of the time describe its wine as “disappointingly thin”. Throughout the following century, Mouton d’Armailhacq’s owners work unceasingly to improve its quality, using techniques such as topping-up, running-off, barrel disinfection and fining. Their efforts are rewarded in 1831, when the wines of Mouton d’Armailhacq sell for twice as much as their more highly reputed neighbours. The ultimate recompense, Château Mouton d’Armailhacq is given Fifth Growth status in the 1855 Classification – the same one which made Château Mouton Rothschild “First of the Seconds”. The “first wine”, the only one authorised to bear the growth’s name, is distinguished from the “second wine”, less rich and sold for consumption in local taverns.

 

In 1931, the young Baron Philippe de Rothschild became a minority shareholder of the Société Anonyme du Domaine de Mouton d’Armailhacq, then in 1933 acquired all the shares from the Comte de Ferrand in return for a life annuity. A year later, on the Comte de Ferrand’s death, he became the effective owner of the estate. The Mouton d’Armailhacq portfolio included the Société Vinicole de Pauillac, forerunner of what is now Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA.

Inseparable from Château Mouton Rotschild, Château Mouton d’Armailhacq houses all the technical and agricultural equipment for the two estates in its extensive outbuildings. From 1956 to 1988, the wine was called Mouton Baron Philippe, then Mouton Baronne Philippe. A Fifth Growth of acknowledged quality, its original identity as Château d’Armailhac was patly restored in 1989.

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Vineyards

The vineyard of Château d’Armailhac, an 1855 Classified Growth under the name Mouton d’Armailhacq, covers 70 hectares (172 acres) in the northern part of Pauillac. An extension of the Carruades de Mouton plateau, the Plateau des Levantines et de l’Obélisque, made up of light and very deep gravelly soil, is the preferred terroir of Cabernet grapes. The deep gravelly soil of the Plateau de Pibran rests on a clay-limestone base, giving the Château d’Armailhac wines their characteristic refinement and elegance. The light gravelly soil of the Croupe de Béhéré is up to three metres deep.

The vineyard is planted with traditional Médoc grape varieties (53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot) on rootstocks best suited to the soil (mostly Riparia-Gloire). The average age of the vineyard is 46 years, but nearly 20% of the total surface area dates back to 1890. Plantation density is high at 10,000 vines per hectare: Château d’Armailhac preserves the old methods of ensuring quality.

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Winemaking

From planting the vines to bottling the wine, everything at Château d’Armailhac is a matter of experience, observation and patience. The vineyard is managed in the strict Médoc tradition, with each vinegrower being responsible for a particular parcel. Every year, they prune the same vinestocks under the supervision of a technical team. After pruning, the vinegrowers tie up the vine then, in spring, train the shoots on strung wires to give orderly rows. That way, tractors can work the soil without harming the grapes. Those tasks (earthing up, ploughing back and screefing) are carried out at regular intervals to aerate the soil and prevent weeds.

 

The key decision of when to start the harvest is prepared by the analytical and research laboratory, which also monitors Château Mouton Rothschild. The ripeness of the grapes is verified daily, parcel by parcel. The acidity, sugar content, colour and tannins are checked.
Picking is carried out entirely by hand. Each variety of grape from each parcel is taken to the vat room separately. The young vines are harvested before the older vines and vinified separately. The grapes are entirely destemmed so that only the fine tannins from the skins and pips are retained.

 

Vinification methods are adjusted to suit each vintage according to the characteristics of each vatting. The cellar-master, the winemakers and the laboratory staff monitor all the parameters (temperature, pumping-over, airing, length of time, run-off, etc.). Together, every day, they analyse and taste each vatting. The wines are matured in the traditional matter, 25% in new barrels. The other barrels come from the Grand Chai (Great Barrel Hall) at Château Mouton Rothschild. The wines are run off every three months until fining, which takes place during the second winter after the harvest. Fining is carried out with egg-whites in the traditional manner. The number of eggs (four to six per barrel) is determined each year after tests at the laboratory and in the barrel.

The bottling date may vary from one vintage to another: only the wine decides. The cellar-master and winemakers learn to meet the wine and talk with it in order to enhance all its qualities and show it at its best.

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Inside information

The house, a fine though incomplete white stone building in which the steward of the estates lived from 1947 to 1966, is not now used for residential purposes. Its vast outbuildings house the technical and agricultural equipment needed to farm the vineyards belonging to the two châteaux. Château d’Armailhac is surrounded by a stately park. The central avenue, lined with yew trees, leads to Château Mouton Rothschild.

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Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Juha Lihtonen / The Best Scandinavian Sommelier 2003, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château D´Armailhac . In a tasting of  4 wines 

Such a solid set of wines! D'Armailhac 2016 is for me by far the best ever, so complete with fleshy style. Grange de Peres deserves its cult status, such layered and fascinatingly flavour-rich wine. But my pick for the night was Andrea Oberto's Barolo Albarella – such a charmer! Once again, I have to say that Barolo is the next Bugundy in terms of prices. They will never get as high prices as the best burgundies, but they will go up like prestige champagnes within last 10 years. Today 50€ per bottle, in 10 years at least double price per bottle. So, stock up! 

2m 13d ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château D´Armailhac . In a tasting of  57 wines 

Château Cos d’Estournel 2019 - 65% Cabernet Sauvignon + 35% Merlot, 14% alcohol, 55% new oak. Wow, this is real, real enjoyment for one's senses! I think 2019 here definitively breaks up with old-style Cos and continues with the gentler and more soil character-oriented style which started since 2014 vintage. Max. 27 degrees C during alcoholic fermentation. Excellent presence of cigar box, tobacco-leaf and scent of grilled bacon, so typical aromas for Cabernet Sauvignon here. Extremely refined and sophisticated on the nose and palate, multi-layered with stunning complexity, depth and length. Touch down!! 98-100p.

7m 12d ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château D´Armailhac . In a tasting of  6 wines 

The video-tasting with Philippe Sereys de Rothschild and Philippe Dhalluin of Château Mouton-Rothschild was a marvellous opportunity to learn more about this vintage 2019.

9m 4d ago

 Boire du Bon, Wine Blogger (France)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château D´Armailhac . In a tasting of  6 wines 

Lynch Bages 1989 : my best Bordeaux ever !


Extraordinary concentration, blackberry, smoke, spices, lasts more than 1 minute.


Still a young man, huge potential, wonder if I should buy another case...

1y 4m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château D´Armailhac . In a tasting of  22 wines 

In 2018 Pauillac was again one of the star appellations and there will be some legendary wines from here this vintage. Mouton was probably my personal favorite, it just has everything you want from a perfect vintage of Mouton and Pauillac. Alcohol clocking in at 13,8 or so is not frightening either. My surprise was that Pichon Comtesse didn’t make an even greater wine than they did. I tasted it twice, both at the estate and at the UGCB press tasting with very similar notes. Haut-Bages Liberal was not available to taste where I normally taste it due to low production caused by mildew. Pauillac has some less expensive stars as well, Fonbadet has made their possibly finest wine to date. Armailhac and Clerc Milon has also been on a roll the last vintages and they both shine again this vintage. Lafite is bolder in style even if not that high ripeness; it is a flamboyant version of itself. Duhart-Milon is fine and less rustic than it can sometimes be. Smoother. Grand-Puy-Lacoste is stunning, maybe in a somewhat richer style but landing perfectly in the more elegant side of the vintage in my book. Lynch-Bages has more concentration and depth with lots of stuffing and will probably be for the long haul. Pichon Baron shows great depth and richness, it is a powerhouse. Latour has a similar richness with just a bit more depth. Pontet-Canet is big and rich with lots of depth but also freshness to back it all up. A very fine vintage in Pauillac.

1y 9m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château D´Armailhac . In a tasting of  45 wines 

2017 is a vintage bringing back Bordeaux to its roots, offering a very classic wine style with lower alcohol levels than in the previous years but with often excellent aromatic expression. 2015 and 2016 have surely been better vintages than last year, but based on a first impression 2017 seems to be better than 2014. The evolution will show, that 2017 is far from becoming a "forgotten vintage". Some nice surprises will be waiting for us.

2y 9m ago

 Izak Litwar , Wine Writer (Denmark)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château D´Armailhac . In a tasting of  161 wines 

Bordeaux 2016 vintage!

3y 10m ago

 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château D´Armailhac . In a tasting of  126 wines 

Every now and again one stumbles across a paradox that confounds the accepted natural order of things. The 2016 Bordeaux vintage was born out of a growing season that was near-catastrophe and near-perfection. After the Hesperian Dragon’s relentless torment, the Titan God Atlas had seemingly kept the sky aloft with the help of a Phoenix. Following five months of diabolical weather patterns, a warm to hot dry summer arrived in the nick of time, not only saving a vintage, but creating one of the most spectacular vintages in a lifetime.


 The sense of relief in Bordeaux must have been as thrilling as avoiding the bullet of Russian Roulette, or the adrenalin of surviving a base-jump. The razor’s edge has never been so exquisitely fine. While the end result is not always perfect, with the odd abrasions here and there, the overall quality of the 2016 Bordeaux vintage is remarkably consistent with many Chateaux making some of their best wines in 50 years. Typically, the wines have deep colours, pure fruit aromatics, generous saturated flavours, dense rich tannin structures and bell clear acidities. Precision, freshness, elegance, smoothness and “delicate opulence” are words that are being used by various Chateaux to describe their wines.


 The Bordelais are, of course, the world’s greatest spin doctors. They leave snake charmers for dead when it comes to the art of mesmerising. The newly opened and impressive Cité du Vin, which sits on the banks of the Garonne River in Bordeaux, sparkles like a polished turd; a monument to the exaggerations and optimism of this particular type of fine wine game. Momentum is achieved through belief. There is no room for wavering or self-doubt.

3y 10m ago

 Markus Del Monego MW , Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château D´Armailhac . In a tasting of  272 wines 

BORDEAUX VINTAGE 2016 / Tasting "en primeur" is a challenge every year. The wines tasted are showing a tendency only and it is still the beginning of a longer process of evolution and maturation in the barrels. There might be some changes during the next year and a half until the wines will be bottled, but already today the tendency is quite clear. For most of the red wines it will be an outstanding vintage, a vintage for Cabernet, old vines, limestone and clay soil. It was a challenging year for the vintners. An incredibly wet spring was worrying the winegrowers and at the beginning of June, the spirits were down. However warm and dry weather between June 3 and June 11 creating an close to ideal situation for the flowering and good weather conditions starting in mid June changed the nature of the vintage. The fine weather continued into July and August. The month of August was featuring hot weather and a remarkable amount of sunshine but the absence of rain let to water stress. Heavy rain in mid September set an end to water stress and when the sun returned on September 20 the vintage was saved as there was excellent weather till to the end of the harvest. The effects were various. the white wines are on a good quality level and display fruit and flavour but the acidity is lower than in previous vintages and the white wines show an opulent and rather soft style. The noble sweet wines are extremely pure and are more on the rich and powerful side than on the freshness. For the red wines originating from the right terroirs and old vines, the vintage an be called outstanding. Water stress was managed well on limestone and clay terroirs, Cabernet varieties did extremely well and old vines found water even during the stressful dry periods of summer. In some few red wines the tannins are slightly harsh, almost bitter, a result of water stress and/or intense extraction. In general the red wines are on an excellent level with an advantage for the left bank, mainly the Médoc area, and the classic great terroirs of Saint-Emilion and Pomerol. 

3y 10m ago

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Château D´Armailhac . In a tasting of  75 wines 

In 2016 Pauillac has made some excellent wines and on the top, Mouton has made something very special and might be wine of the vintage competing with Petrus. Lots of estate has made excellent wines from Pauillac this year. Saint-Estephe has also made stunning wines and Cos d'Estournel has made one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted from them. Northern Médoc is far better in 2016 than in 2015, but for me, 2016 on a whole delivers more. 2015 for me eas a bit hyped even if the wines were very good indeed. 2016 probably has the edge over 2011 as well that is seriously undervalued in the market, but will give many some surprises for the future.

3y 10m ago

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