The attack shows fine balance and the tannins are well-structured, enfolded in a richly smooth body with jammy fruit flavours. The finish reveals a wine full of promise, associated with an initial impetus from the fruit which gives it excellent length.
James Suckling: 94 Points
Very minerally, silky and refined with a full body, firm tannins and currants, stones and citrus. Racy and fine. This has a little more Merlot in the blend but is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon as always. One of the best Armailhacs in a long time.
Wine Spectator: 93 Points
Bright, juicy and engaging, with a racy damson plum and red currant core striped with singed cedar and vanilla and backed by a good twinge of iron. This is brisk and pleasantly taut. Textbook Pauillac.
Vinous: 93 Points
The 2014 d'Armailhac is absolutely delicious. Dark red cherry, plum, pomegranate, spice and floral notes are bold and exuberant in the glass. This is an especially extroverted, silky d'Armailhac long on class, finesse and resonance. All the elements are in the right place. Ripe, silky tannins add to an overall impression of creaminess, but there is also a terrific element of pure energy here. The 2014 has a bit more Merlot in the blend than usual and also clocks in around 13.8% in alcohol, which is high for the estate. More importantly, though, d'Armailhac is a real overachiever in this vintage. The blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.
Wine Enthusiast: 92 Points
Barrel Sample. A mild summer with cool nights kept the freshness in the Merlot grown on the gravel soil of this vineyard. As a result, this wine has delicious fruitiness and a crisp edge to go with the background of tannins.
Wine Advocate: 90 Points
The Château d’Armailhac 2014 is a blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot (slightly more Merlot than usual.) It will be matured in around one-third new oak. The opulence and richness is immediately apparent on the nose with hints of black olive infusing the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with slightly grainy tannin, quite dense black fruit with a spicy attack towards the saline finish. It feels a little abrasive at the moment but the rough edges should be rounded by the time.
Notes from the Winemaker:
2014 will be remembered as a year of contrasts.
Spring arrived in due course after a typical Bordeaux winter, though April was much sunnier and drier than the average.
A wet and cool May was followed by a spell of bright and sunny weather, despite some highly localised heavy rainfall, mainly due to storms on 22 and 23 June.
The weather in summer was very changeable. July was generally fine and slightly warmer than the average, whereas August was quite a lot cooler and much less sunny, though drier, than normal.
With the end of August came one of the longest and most exceptional Indian summers in winegrowing memory, bringing a succession of hot, sunny and dry days which lasted until the end of October.
Warm weather in April encouraged early budbreak, especially for the Merlot, while the extraordinary late season enabled the grapes to reach perfect maturity, retaining all the fruit flavours and favouring phenolic compounds. The harvest took place in ideal conditions, leaving plenty of time to pick the grapes at optimum maturity.