The early part of the year was warm and dry: average temperatures rose well above normal levels from the end of January, causing the vine to bud at the very beginning of March.
The different grape varieties flowered evenly, reaching the mid-flowering point between 20 and 24 May. Mid-veraison, uneven across the grape varieties, was reached 15 days earlier than the average, between 24 July and 1 August. The weather in August was warm and wet, almost tropical, with three days of 100% humidity, but integrated pest management techniques ensured that the vines and grapes remained in excellent condition, with no trace of or damage from disease or parasites. However, the unusual conditions halted the ripening process.
With the grapes ripening unevenly, the pickers had to wait for them to reach optimum maturity in order to ensure a high-quality harvest. Fortunately, the weather in September was favourable.
Château d’Armailhac 1997 has a clean, brilliant colour and a nicely open nose, displaying berry fruit aromas reminiscent of blackberry and bilberry and more subtle notes of spice and tobacco. The attack is clean and forthright, leading quickly into fine, silky, well-rounded tannins, full of charm and elegance. Showing a fine balance between structure and aromatic persistence, with notes of stone fruit, vanilla and a suggestion of toast, the wine lengthens into an elegant, complex and full-flavoured finish.Descriptive sheet