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88-91 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - April 2013
(54% cabernet sauvignon, 29% merlot, 14% cabernet franc and 3% petit verdot): Good medium ruby-red. Enticing, pure aromas of blackcurrant, raspberry, red licorice, violet and crushed stone on the knockout nose. Fresh, dense and suave; a step up in intensity from most Pauillacs in this vintage, with brisk acidity framing the perfumed flavors of dark berries, sweet spices and minerals. Finishes very long and smooth, with sneaky aromatic persistence. As usual, Armailhac is heavily dominated on the nose by its cabernet franc component, giving it amazingly refined violet and cocoa aromas. If you are surprised by the 3% petit verdot in a vintage characterized by a very wet late season (which is normally when the late-ripening petit verdot needs sunlight and warmth), the 18-year-old petit verdot vines at Armailhac are of particularly high quality, according to general director Philippe Dhalluin. "Petit verdot likes to have its head in the sun and its feet in the water," said Dhalluin. "The best vines we own are located in the Behère area at the southwestern tip of our estate near the river, so these vines have lots of heat and water, which allowed them to weather the difficult conditions of 2012." Superb wine in the making.