|Classification||3ème Cru Classé|
Extremely impressive. Lucky for some others that we tasted this on our final day in Bordeaux - otherwise many other wines would have had a hard act to follow. This is long and sleek, but the feel is gorgeous; a fabulous density but beautifully delineated layers of flavour. Perfectly ripe morello cherries and a bite of plum skin framed by the finest, talcum powder textured tannins. Sleek and sophisticated it just goes on and on. 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot all now farmed biodynamically. Rating: 94-95 L&S (Apr 2015)
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The 2014 Palmer has a clean and fresh blackberry, raspberry and cedar scented bouquet, not complex but nicely detailed. It just needs more personality to develop. The palate is medium-bodied with light tannin, a touch of espresso on the entry tincturing the red berry fruit, saline with a dash of white pepper on the finish. It is not an imposing Margaux, not the longest potentially lived, but it is well crafted. It would not surprise me if this Palmer is beginning to close down after bottling. Tasted blind at the annual Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2022 - 2045 Rating: 92+ Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Mar 2018)
Refined and classy and polished with the tannins well covered by fruit. Dry finish but ambitious rather than raw. Stony finish. Appetising. Drinking range: 2024 - 2040 Rating: 17.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Feb 2018)
The Château Palmer 2014 is a blend of 45% Merlot, 49% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot cropped at 33hl/ha between 22 September and 14 October. There is certainly more fruit intensity on the nose compared to the Alter Ego: more density, perhaps more opaqueness in tandem with more delineation. Dark plums, boysenberry jam and mineral abound. The palate is medium-bodied with fine, edgy tannin and crisp acidity (pH 3.6), a dash of cracked black pepper enlivening the back palate with a taut, quite grippy finish. This is a more masculine Palmer in prospect, one that will deserve five or six years in bottle. Drinking range: 2020 - 2040 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (May 2015)
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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