Pauillac - Philippe de Rothschild
Château d'Armailhac, previously named Château Mouton-d'Armailhacq (historical name from inception, 1750–1955), Château Mouton-Baron Philippe, Mouton Baronne and Château Mouton-Baronne-Philippe (1979–1988), is a winery in the Pauillac appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. The wine produced here was classified as one of eighteen Cinquièmes Crus (Fifth Growths) in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855.
A local register notes the existence of two brothers, Dominique et Guilhem Armailhacq, who own parcels of land in Pauillac. Another register mentions in 1750 a certain Dominique Armailhac, who has “planted with vines” the family estate, taking advantage of the “planting frenzy” then sweeping through the Médoc. The vines covered 15 to 16 hectares. In the late 18th century, the vineyard, generally called Mouton d’Armailhacq, spans some 52 hectares between Brane-Mouton in the north and Pibran in the south.
Château Mouton d’Armailhacq is classified as a Fifth Growth in the famous classification drawn up by Bordeaux wine brokers. In Bordeaux in the same year, Armand d’Armailhac publishes a learned treatise on vinegrowing and winemaking in the Médoc. A Fifth Growth of acknowledged quality, Mouton d’Armailhacq is renamed Mouton Baron Philippe, then Mouton Baronne Philippe, until the vintage 1988. In 1989 Baroness Philippine decides to restore its original identity to Mouton d’Armailhacq, giving it the name Château d’Armailhac.
The vineyard of Château d’Armailhac, an 1855 Classified Growth under the name Mouton d’Armailhacq, covers 70 hectares (172 acres) in the northern part of Pauillac. An extension of the Carruades de Mouton plateau, the Plateau des Levantines et de l’Obélisque, made up of light and very deep gravelly soil, is the preferred terroir of Cabernet grapes. The deep gravelly soil of the Plateau de Pibran rests on a clay-limestone base, giving the Château d’Armailhac wines their characteristic refinement and elegance. The light gravelly soil of the Croupe de Béhéré is up to three metres deep.
The vineyard is planted with traditional Médoc grape varieties (52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 36% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot) on rootstocks best suited to the soil (mostly Riparia-Gloire). The average age of the vineyard is 46 years, but nearly 20% of the total surface area dates back to 1890. Plantation density is high at 10,000 vines per hectare: Château d’Armailhac preserves the old methods of ensuring quality.
The deep gravelly soil of the Plateau de Pibran rests on a clay-limestone base, giving the Château d’Armailhac wines their characteristic refinement and elegance.