James Suckling 92-93
A firm and linear young red with currant and graphite character. Medium body. Fresh finish. Crunchy acidity. 63% cabernet sauvignon, 22% merlot, 13% cabernet franc and 2% petit verdot.
The 2021 ‘Armailhac is elegant and lithe in feel. Bright floral and savory notes lend freshness throughout a core of red berry fruit. In this tasting, Armailhac comes across as a bit vegetal, with slightly angular contours that hopefully will resolve with élevage. This is the first vintage made in the château’s new cellar.
Anticipated maturity: 2029-2041
Jane Anson 92
First year with the new cellar at Armailhac, and a new technical director, as Lucie Lauilhé has replaced Jean-Paul Paultert, with Paultert retiring after 29 years in the post (Lauilhé was only present for harvest and blending, 2022 will be her first full year). There are big plans for this property, but in 2021 it is playing things a little safe, with juicy balance, delicate tannins, plenty of grip and precision to the raspberry and blackberry fruits, but a little soft on the finish. There is due to be a 2nd wine in the future, which will help with concentration, but the signature of 2021 is evident here. A little more Cabernet Franc, after poor fruit set with the Melrot. 3.73ph. 50% new oak, 60IPT. Tasted twice.
Anticipated maturity: 2026-2038
Robert Parker 91-93
Reminiscent of a modern-day version of this estate’s delicious 1999, the 2021 d’Armailhac is a terrific wine bursting with aromas of wild berries, cherries, exotic spices and rose petals. Medium to full-bodied, supple and seamless, it’s fleshy and enveloping, with melting tannins and an ample core of sweet, succulent fruit. This is a pleasure-bent wine that will offer a broad drinking window.
Succulent and softly supple, this has lots of energy and pace with bright red fruits, raspberries and cherries, alongside sweet spices and perfumed nuances. The acidity is so well judged it lifts the palate and delivers the individual elements with precision and poise, so you get a playful, friendly and upfront wine offering so much pleasure. I love the clarity here too, the sheer chalky and saline texture on the tongue; it feels clean and clear with a pristine quality. This will be a fabulous wine! 2% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 3.72pH. The first vintage to be vinified in the new winery which was completed just in time for the harvest.
Anticipated maturity: 2025-2045