A little austere on the opening beats. Carving out its place more clearly alongside its two Pauillac siblings, this has some excellent sappy dark fruits, plenty of tannins and power but also elegance and confidence. This Armailac is gorgeous, lovely mid palate dept, and plenty of juicy blueberry and bilberry fruit, with lift through the finish, 3% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 50% new oak. Harvest September 7 to 29. The new cellar with be finished for the 2021 harvest, but this one was made in the temporary cellar. I really like this, it has a floral edge, a juice and freshness and sense of elegance; a good two minutes after you have stopped tasting a wave of subtle smoke comes in - the after wash of a fine gravel terroir. 50% new oak, harvest from September 7 to 29 across the three estates.
Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)Score: 93/100Drink 2028-2042
A blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, the balance Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, hitting 13.2% alcohol, the 2020 Château D'Armailhac sports a vivid purple hue to go with beautiful cassis and blackberry fruits intermixed with lots of chalky minerality, toasty oak, graphite, and tobacco. It has the round, supple style of the vintage yet still brings ample tannic grip, solid mid-palate depth, and a great finish. It's beautifully done and should be drinkable with just 2-4 years of bottle age yet age just fine.
Jeb Dunnuck (May 2021)Score: 92-94/100
The 2020 d’Armailhac, raised in 50% new oak with a planned 17-month barrel maturation, is a little deeper in color compared to the Clerc Milon. I find more complexity on the nose of blackberry, briar, cedar and pencil box aromas, less extravagant than previous vintages and more terroir-driven, perhaps. The palate is medium-bodied with fine tannins that have a little more edge than the Clerc Milon, plus there is slightly more mineralité and depth. In particular, the finish is very harmonious and fans out wonderfully. This Château d’Armailhac is a splendid wine in the making, and one of the best examples from the estate that I have tasted out of barrel.
Neal Martin, Vinous (May 2021)Score: 92-94/100Drink 2025-2045
Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2020 D'Armailhac strides confidently out of the glass with classic scents of cassis, warm plums and cedar chest, plus wafts of pencil lead, bay leaves and kirsch. The medium-bodied palate has a sturdy frame of chewy tannins and plenty of freshness to support the crunchy black and red fruits, finishing savory. The blend this year is 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, with an alcohol of 13.3%.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (May 2021)Score: 90-92/100Drink 2024-2037
A fresh, layered red with blackberry and chocolate. It?s full and beautiful. Cool finish. Soft tannins spread across the finish. Savory.
James Suckling (April 2021)Score: 93-94/100
59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. Cask sample. Aromatic finesse with perfumed, floral notes. Mid palate is juicy and fresh, backed by firm, grainy tannins. Confirmed structure but slightly chewy finish.
James Lawther MW, jancisrobinson.com (April 2021)Score: 16.5/20Drink 2026-2035
One of the most pleasant surprises in the Pauillac tasting was Ch. d’Armailhac, which seems to completely overdeliver in 2020. The colour is intense and the palate is beautifully ripe, while also remaining mouth-wateringly fresh. There is a lovely precision to the Cabernet fruit that makes it stand out. It is a very succulent and moreish wine. The tannins are very fine – firming up nicely on the finish and adding structure. You feel d’Armailhac made the most of the vintage, achieving full phenolic ripeness, while managing to retain freshness and a medium body. Impressive.
FINE+RARE (April 2021)