CHÂTEAU D'ARMAILLAC Chateau d'Armailhac has a complicated history, not least because the proprietors seem persistently undecided as to what the property should be called. The property is named after Dominique d'Armailhacq who acquired the tract of land between Mouton-Rothschild and Pontet-Canet in the early 18th century when the vast Ségur estate began to fragment. He earnt the right to use the name "Mouton" when he purchased a dilapidated Château. For the moment they have settled on d'Armailhac, reflecting the origins of the estate, which seems fitting. It was Dominique d'Armailhacq who created the estate, purchasing the land between Mouton Rothschild to the north and Pontet Canet to the south, early in the 18th Century. Dominique expanded the vineyards, and his acquisitions included the buildings at Chateau Brane-Mouton. Clearly not one to let a marketing opportunity pass by, Dominique duly renamed his own estate Chateau Mouton-d'Armailhacq. By the latter half of the 19th century, it had become a significant estate within Pauillac and when it passed into the hands of the Comte de Ferrand family, they continued practice the conscientious husbandry instilled by their predecessors. But their efforts proved futile when war broke out in 1914 the economic climate went into freefall, so that by the early 1920's it was in a ruinous state.
Since Baron Philippe had taken control of Mouton-Rothschild in 1923, the adjacent Mouton d'Armailhacq had posed restrictions on access to his beloved estate and stymied his plans to build a regal park that might persuade authorities to promote it to a First Growth. So he accepted the opportunity to purchase this "thorn in his side" from the Comte de Ferrand in 1933, allowing the Comte to reside at his residence, whilst using his trading company to distribute his new brand: Mouton Cadet.
d'Armailhac D'Armailhac has 50 hectares of vineyards which are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (50%), Merlot (25%), Cabernet Franc (23%) and Petit Verdot (2%) The grapes are hand picked, de-stemmed and vinified in the traditional way.
D'Armailhac is matured in a combination of new oak barrels (30%) and 2nd fill barrels from Mouton Rothschild. The wine has improved significantly over the last decade.
Chateau d'Armailhac 2002 - Pauillac - Bordeaux France
Gorgeous aromas of crushed berries and cherries, with hints of currants and toasted oak. Medium-bodied, with clean fruit and mineral character. Medium finish. Slightly hollow, but well done. Wine Spectator Rating - 85/89
It, Now! l
Chateau d'Armailhac 2003 - Pauillac - Bordeaux France
This wine, which tips the scales at 13.1% alcohol, is a relatively big, soft, plump style of Pauillac with a deep ruby/purple color and a sweet nose of black currants intermixed with licorice, espresso notes, and a hint of coffee. Rated 89-91, Robert Parker
It, Now! l
Since 1933, Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA, located at Pauillac in the Médoc, has been motivated by a constant ambition: to make the world's finest wines, each in its own category, whether the châteaux wines for which it is responsible – the renowned Château Mouton Rothschild, a First Growth, and its distinguished lieutenants, Château Clerc Milon and Château d'Armailhac – or branded wines, like the famous Mouton Cadet.