2009 Chateau d' Armailhac

Year: 2009
Appellation: Pauillac
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 90
Jeff Leve: 92
James Suckling: 93
Red Wine
Price :
$54.95
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"This has density, structure and drive, offering seriously dark baker’s chocolate, plum, currant and fig flavors all wound up tightly by singed cedar, tar and dark tapenade notes, with a tight, mineral-driven finish. Needs a little time to unwind. Best from 2013 through 2023." (WS)

"The finest d’Armailhac I have tasted to date, the 2009 is largely Cabernet Sauvignon (60%) blended with a big wallop of Merlot (25%) and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Its dense purple color is followed by a big, sweet kiss of asphalt, black currants, mocha, barbecue smoke, cedar and spice. This medium to full-bodied, well-made, impressively endowed Pauillac should drink well for 20+ years." (WA)

"($60) Moderately saturated dark red. Expressive nose offers redcurrant, tobacco leaf, licorice and cedar. A spicy, energetic midweight with enticing sweetness to its juicy raspberry, redcurrant and tree bark flavors. Finishes with serious dusty tannins and lovely lingering red berry flavor." (IWC)

"2009 d’Armahillac shows ample fresh blackberry, oak, cassis, and boysenberry notes. The long, ripe finish is concentrated with dark berries. This is the finest wine I have ever tasted from this property." (JL)

"Wonderful aromas of blackberries, blueberries and bramble berries. Full-bodied, with ripe tannins and wonderful fruit. There is really a gourmand style to it. So delicious. Fruity and velvety. So much flavor. Why wait? But will improve for years." (JS)

THE 2009 -- THE FINEST CHATEAU d’ARMALIHAC I’VE EVER HAD – AND I’VE TASTED 40 PLUS OF THEM

As mentioned I’ve tasted at least 40 vintages of wines from the 5th Grand Cru growth under its various names, i.e. Mouton-d’Armalilhac, Mouton Baron Philippe. Mouton Baronee-Phillippe and this most recent incarna¬tion Chateau d’Armailhac. Within minuets after tasting the wine (and before my wife and I finished the bottle) I said this was the finest wine I have ever had from this Chateau. It was to my pleasant chagrin that about a week later, I heard Robert Parker, made the same evaluation.

As I am in complete agreement with Robert Parker regarding this wine, I quote him with total shaking of my head and saying “yes - yes” when he rates the wine a 92+ and writes: “The finest d’Armailhac I have tasted to date, the 2009 is largely Cabernet Sauvignon (60%) blended with a big wallop of Merlot (25%) and the rest Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Its dense purple color is followed by a big, sweet kiss of asphalt, black currants, mocha, barbecue smoke, cedar and spice. This medium to full-bodied, well-made, impres¬sively endowed Pauillac should drink well for 20+ years.”

The Chateau’s vineyard is a single plot adjoining and mostly south-east of Mouton-Rothschild and directly north and adjoining Chateau Pontet-Canet and covering about 125 acres. Of course the grape blend is slightly different then the ’09 cepage, however the Chateau’s vineyard is planted in 49% Cabernet Sauvignon (as you can see more was used in the ’09), 25% Merlot, 23% Cabernet Franc, and 2% Petit Verdot. Production is around 22,000 cases per year.

As for the ownership it was acquired in 1934 by Baron Philippe de Rothschild who had taken on the man¬agement of Mouton-Rothschild a decade before. The property still belongs to the direct heir of Baron Phillippe, and it is this heir who was the one who changed the name to its present designation. Another superb example of how magnificent the 2009 vintage was in Bordeaux and across the entire cost spectrum.

RATING:94

PRICE:$54.95 ***bargain

WHERE: Los Angeles Wine Co.

(Martin's Guide to Wine Bargains)