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CHÂTEAU PALMER

2016 3ème Cru Classé Margaux

Grapes Cab Sauv, Petit Verdot, Merlot
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Margaux
Classification 3ème Cru Classé

Merlot 47%, Cabernet Sauvignon 47%, Petit Verdot 6%. Lovely delicate dark crimson fruit. Very poised at first. Lots of plum, black fruits and mocha, gently dancing under a very precise, textured layer of structured tannins. A rolling weight. Total harmony and glorious sweet blackberry jus and gourmand richness. It promises to be the best wine produced in this commune in 2016. Drinking range: 2030 - 2050 Rating: 94-96 L&S (Apr 2017)

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The 2016 Palmer has a generous, slightly lactic bouquet of opulent red fruit infused with touches of dark chocolate, although it calms down and gains more grace with aeration. The palate is medium-bodied with supple tannins and well-judged acidity. Very harmonious, revealing cedar and mint toward the extraordinarily persistent finish. This is another classy, persistent Margaux with a long future ahead. Tasted blind at the Southwold tasting. Drinking range: 2026 - 2070 Rating: 98 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Aug 2020)

The finest vintage I’ve ever tasted from this estate, surpassing the 2009 and 2010, the 2016 Château Palmer is a blend of 47% each of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Petit Verdot, all of which was brought up in 65% new French oak. This magical effort reveals a saturated purple color as well as a huge nose of crème de cassis, graphite, crushed rocks, and spring flowers, and it develops beautifully with time in the glass. Full-bodied, deep, incredibly concentrated and powerful, it nevertheless just glides over the palate with flawless purity and balance, present, ripe tannins, and a finish that just won’t quit. This is Bordeaux at its most regal and classic. It will be drinkable with just 4-5 years of bottle age and keep for half a century. Drinking range: 2023 - 2073 Rating: 100 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)

The 2016 Palmer is a blend of 47% Merlot, 47% Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% Petit Verdot cropped at 29 hectoliters per hectare between 3 and 18 October. Matured in 65% new oak (my sample coming from a used barrel), the bouquet is perhaps not quite as intense as some of its peers and takes time to click into fifth gear. Eventually it offers tightly wound blackberry, briary and mineral scents; it is very focused, but maybe less extrovert and more classic in style compared to recent vintages. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip on the entry, quite firm in the mouth with slightly tarry black fruit, hints of black truffle developing towards the finish that feels masculine and linear. It has very impressive length, completing what is an intellectual Palmer, one that I suspect will really blossom in bottle. Drinking range: 2024 - 2055 Rating: 95-97 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)

Château Palmer

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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