These wines were tasted during my recent visit to The Sampler. OK so maybe 2 bottles isn’t quite a showdown but it was a good opportunity to see how the vintage is shaping up. 2004 is a middle of the road vintage but I was pleased with both of these classed growth contenders. As for maturity the answer is very much dependent on the wine as these were in a different place in their evolution. I guess this tasting really demonstrates the use in being able to try a wine before you take home a bottle. Check out the main article on my visit to The Sampler.
Château Langoa-Barton, 3ème Cru Classé, St-Julien, Bordeaux, 2004
Château d’Armailhac, 5ème Cru Classé, Paulliac, Bordeaux, 2004
Tasting these wines side by side was an interesting experience. [Leoville-Barton 2001 rates among one of my favourite wines and this was my first opportunity to taste the sister wine Langoa-Barton.] Langoa-Barton still felt quite fiery in youth at this point in time – it was tannic, lots of rich fruit, and was yet to fully integrate the different components. This was a very well made wine but has not yet reached an elegant plateau. If you want to drink it now then I would recommend pairing with something like a rare steak. The d’Armailhac in comparison was balanced, elegant and delicious with greater complexity at this point. There is no doubt that the d’Armailhac is more advanced in its maturity and will begin to fade far sooner than the Langoa-Barton, but for drinking now I would take the d’Armailhac every time.