The second wine, the 2013 Alter Ego de Palmer (7,500 cases produced), is composed of 46% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot. It reveals more acidity as well as a more lean, austere character in addition to a deep ruby/purple color. The tannins and tart acids are noticeable. It should be consumed over the next 3-6 years. Palmer’s administrator, Thomas Duroux, realized that 2013 was going to be a year requiring huge amounts of labor and a draconian-like selection. 2014-2020 Rating: 81-84 Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, www.RobertParker.com (Aug 2014)
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Rating: 85-87 Ian d'Agata - Stephen Tanzer website(May 2014)
The nose has depth the palate sweetness with a mix of red and black fruits. Behind the mid sweetness there are firm but not over obvious tannins and the back palate has depth the richness of sweet fruit. 2017-28 Rating: 89-92 Derek Smedley MW, www.dereksmedleymw.co.uk(May 2014)
Rating: 91 Tim Atkin MW, www.timatkin.com(May 2014)
(46 Cabernet Sauvignon, 46 Merlot, 8 Petit Verdot) Only 7000 cases made. Very smooth, dark and tight and quite refreshing and bright on the back palate. Not bad weight and the oak seems to be under control - if anything it adds tang rather than oakiness. Clean, fairly long and javelin-shaped this is a slender and balanced wine with decent appeal and it will drink soon. Rating: 16 Matthew Jukes www.matthewjukes.com(Apr 2014)
46% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot. 15% new oak. Really rich and pure fruit. Fantastic perfume – really firing on all cylinders. Very impressive scent. The palate delivers wonderful balance too – there is no lack of body or greenness whatsoever. Neither is there the great length and complexity of the most lauded vintages. This is undoubtedly a good 2013, however. (RH) Drink 2018-2028. Rating: 17+ Richard Hemming MW - www.JancisRobinson.com(Apr 2014)
Deep red, firm fruit and firm tannins, precise, structured a serious wine. Drink: 2018-2028. Rating: 16.5 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2014)
Shows macerated black currant and blackberry notes, with dark charcoal and bay leaf lining the finish. This has good flesh and drive, if just a bit short on depth overall. Rating: 87–90 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator(Apr 2014)
Deep red, firm fruit and firm tannins, precise, structured a serious wine. 2018 - 2028. Rating: 16.5 Steven Spurrier(Apr 2014)
The 2013 Alter Ego de Palmer is a blend of 46% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot. It has a well-defined bouquet with quite vivacious, lush red and black fruit, hints of cassis and iodine permeating through. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity. This is a light Alter Ego, but quite tensile, though it is missing some persistency towards the finish. Rating: 86-88 Neal Martin, www.robertparker.com(Apr 2014)
Red cherry jam, raspberries, white flowers and spices flesh out on the 2013 Alter Ego. A juicy, succulent wine, the Alter Ego offers lovely up-front fruit married to the bright, lively acidity of the year. Sweet floral notes reappear on the lifted finish. This is a very pretty, feminine wine with plenty of near-term appeal. There is a lot to like here. The blend is 48% Merlot, 46% Cabernet Sauvignon and 8% Petit Verdot. Rating: 88-90 Antonio Galloni, www.vinous.com(Apr 2014)
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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