Opulent and powerful for d’Armailhac with blackcurrants, blackberries and black olives. Full-bodied, tannic and extremely muscular. Very well done indeed.
The dry conditions in the summer hurt the Merlots in many areas, and consequently many wines have a higher level of Cabernet. Here, they have used the highest percentage in Armailhac since 2002. There's great energy to the pretty dark fruit; it's not fleshy but it has a lovely sense of direction with concentration and beautiful extraction. Fine tannins lend good grip through the palate. The drought rather than the frost impacted yields here, but only to 40hl/ha. Harvested 6-29 September. 40% new oak. All blends at Mouton completed by 1 December, the earliest ever.
The 2017 d’Armailhac has an opulent bouquet despite this comprising one of the highest percentages of Cabernet Sauvignon ever, which Philippe Dhalluin attributes to the maturity of the berries. There is some lovely cassis and blueberry fruit here with a smear of vanilla. The palate is structured with fine tannin, here the Cabernets are much more expressive with a fine bead of acidity, an attractive pencil lead tincture coming through towards the finish. This is a more floral d’Armailhac that will drink well for the next decades. [Readers should note that my sample included 60% new oak although the final blend will be 40%.] Tasted three times with consistent notes.