This year the blend is 62%Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, harvested from the 19th of September to the 9th of October. The 2019 D'Armailhac sports a medium to deep garnet-purple color and notes of warm plums, stewed cherries, mulberries and blackcurrant pastilles with touches of aniseed, wild thyme and chocolate box. The medium-bodied palate has a firm frame of fine-grained tannins and bold freshness supporting the expressive black and blue fruits, finishing with a provocative herbal lift. 91-93points
“There is a good amount of Merlot in the D’Armailhac this year,” managing director Philippe Dhalhuin informed me. “Only 56% of the total crop went into the grand vin.” Going from strength to strength, the success of the next-door neighbor, Pontet-Canet, also a fifth growth according to the 1855 Classification, has surely not gone unnoticed by the folks at Baron Philippe de Rothschild, because there are big plans for improvements in the pipeline. For a start, Dhalhuin mentioned that the 2020 harvest will be the last vintage to be made in the old facilities. “We have scrapped the whole thing,” he said. “We are switching from using 22 vats in the old building to 52 vats in the new building. This will make things much better in terms of selection and precision. And we will have a much bigger barrel room. Currently, we are not able to age d’Armailhac much more than 14 months in the cellar. But we will be expanding the cellars to allow for longer aging of this wine. Everything will be ready for 2021.” Aspirations are high for the reinvigorated future of D’Armhailac. I cannot wait to see how far up the quality ladder this well-positioned estate can be taken.