2010 Château d’Armailhac barrel sample

New wines were launched at Systembolaget last week, and I tasted 13 selected ones this Monday: 2 whites and 11 reds. Three top-Bordeauxs were among the reds. I’ll get back to the launch tasting in another blog post within short. 2008 in Bordeaux is considered a medium vintage; slightly better than 2007 but slightly less than 2006. In general, left bank is regarded as somewhat higher in quality than left bank for 2008. As always, there are better and worse performers. When barrel samples were tasted, many critics regarded the 2008 vintage as bad. Fortunately, it seems to have pulled itself together in time for release. In my opinion, it is a very decent vintage. I attended the Winefinder Bordeaux 2010 barrel sample tasting at Berns on 1 September and tried a number of good 2008s as well. It just goes to show that the art of barrel tasting is tricky. However, the 2010s appear to be in great form.

On that note, I would really like to recommend 2010 Château d’Armailhac. I had a barrel sample (actually a full bottle shared with my wife) this evening, and if it’s not the alcohol talking, I really have to say it has great potential.

This is a Pauillac fifth growth which is relatively inexpensive (in a Bordeaux context, that is). At SB, the 2007 is 325 SEK. In contrast to many of the other 2010 barrel samples I’ve had (me and my wife had Clerc Milon last weekend and Beychevelle yesterday which both were good, and I tasted a great deal of other 2010s last Monday), it is not just about the sweet fruit which always seem to get the attention of the barrel tasters. d’Armailhac sure possessed structure, grip and flesh. Not overly tannic, but still rugged enough to maintain lots of character when it is released in about two years. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and the remaining part Petit Verdot. I believe it has the potential to score 92 points (or even more). One can only speculate about 2010 prices on release, but as I said, this is in comparison not an expensive left bank-wine.

Keep your eyes open for the 2010 d’Armailhac when it launches in two years.

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