|Classification||3ème Cru Classé|
Fine, harmonious black fruit nose. Attractively fat, opulent and silky. Flavour builds on the palate, finishing really long with flavourful tannins. Suave and very long, sophisticated, elegant. A top Palmer - real Margaux lift and joy. Rating: 94 L&S (Apr 2006)
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Dense nose with fine intensity of cherries and blackcurrants. Rich palate of black fruits yet smooth, with tannins firming up the long finish. Not easy to approach today, showcasing the power of 2005. Drinking range: 2015 - 2030Decanter Magazine (May 2015)
Saturated, deep ruby-red. Subdued, brooding aromas of dark raspberry and chocolate. Large-scaled, broad and round, with a lush, tactile quality and outstanding depth of flavor. The substantial, dusty tannins arrive very late, allowing the superripe finishing flavors of kirsch and dark chocolate to open and expand. There's something almost 1947-like about this decadent, layered wine. This is the ripest Palmer ever made, at 14% alcohol and a pH of 3.85; Duroux told me it includes a bit of merlot picked at 15.5%. (May/June 2007) Rating: 93-95 Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar (May 2007)
Opaque, deep garnet hue. The nose is closed at first, then black cherries, cedar and a touch of mint. The palate is full-bodied, very concentrated and opulent, though there is a lot of structure underneath. Does not quite have the focus of Margaux, the finish if very dense, touch of cedar and toasty, almost extravagant. Very fine, will meld together in barrel. Huge grip on the finish. Rating: 23/25 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2006)
Margaux Troisième cru 1855 What is now Château Palmer was originally part of a larger Château d'Issan but was divided among heirs and came into the ownership of the Gascq family in 1748. The widow of the last of the Gascqs, in 1814, and apparently having met him on a stagecoach, sold the estate to an Englishman, General Charles Palmer, and Château de Gascq became Château Palmer. He extended the estate and built quite a reputation for his wines (especially in London) but financial difficulties forced him to sell up in 1843 and, by the time of the 1855 classification, the reputation of Château Palmer had slipped sufficiently to rate "only" 3rd Growth status - a status it has exceded for most of its subsequent history. The present château was built at the end of the 1850's. In 1938 the Société Civile de Château Palmer was formed to take ownership of the estate, with the Sichel and Mähler-Besse families as leading shareholders, a situation which persists to this day. Château Palmer sits between Margaux and Cantenac, just east of Issan. The 55ha of vines are planted to 47% each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot with the balance being Petit Verdot. The Grand Vin spends 21 months in wood (45% new). The second wine is Alter Ego de Château Palmer. In the best years of General Palmer's reign, the wines of Château Palmer were regarded on a par with those of Château Margaux and, indeed, during the worst years of the 1960's Palmer probably had a better reputation. Today, despite huge improvements by its neighbours, Palmer sits very squarely as the leading Margaux estate that isn't actually Château Margaux.
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