HISTORY DATING BACK TO 1680...
Chateau d’Armailhac was previously part of their massive vineyards that we know of today as Chateau Mouton Rothschild. The name of the estate came from one of the first owners of the estate, Dominique d’Armailhacq.
During the late 1600’s, the d’ Armailhacq brothers earned their living as river boat captains on the Gironde estuary. It was at that point in time they began purchasing land in Pauillac.
By 1740, the wine was sold under the name of Mouton d’Armailhacq. While the vineyard was known for making Pauillac, it was not as popular or as well known as its neighbors, Chateau Pontet Canet or Chateau Brane Mouton. (Brane Mouton eventually became Chateau Mouton Rothschild)
The d’Armailhacq family, who got their start in the Bordeaux wine trade continued to own the estate until 1843, when the family had fallen deeply into debt and was forced to sell a portion of their property to satisfy their debt.
It was obvious to people in Pauillac at the time the owners of the estate, the d’Armailhacq family needed funds, all they had to do was look at the chateau. The family began to build the chateau in 1820. 10 years later, the slow construction ground to a halt as they could not afford to finish it.
For some unknown reason, which may have eventually turned into a tradition, the building was never completed, leaving only half the chateau completed, making what later became Chateau d’Armailhac, one of the more interesting chateau to visit in modern times.
It is thought that Chateau d’Armailhac was one of the first produces to begin planting large portions of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in their Left Bank vineyards. Eventually the d’Armailhacq family sold the estate to the Ferrand family who in turn sold it to the young, and soon to be famous Baron Philippe de Rothschild.
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 terrior 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.