|Grapes||Petit Verdot, Cab Sauv, Merlot|
A density to smell that is typical of many wines in the year, very Merlot blackberry, and very mineral, too; full and fresh and finely tannic; an immediately showy, ample, fruit-bomb style: generously ripe, amply juicy, fleshy, mouthfilling, spicy, but with fine length to taste, plus the necessary defining freshness, and excellent persistence. A particulary succulent, satisfying Margaux. Drinking range: 2026 - 2040 Rating: 91-93 Michael Schuster, World of Fine Wine (Jun 2021)
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Chocolate shavings and smoked coffee bean on the nose, it's a vintage where you can't get away from the tannins, but here they have sinew and juice, like the best translation of the tannins in the year. This has real purity of fruit (very low SO2 addition at Palmer), together with the gourmet touch that you want in Alter Ego. 45% of overall production. 3.73pH. Survived mildew better than in 2018 because of experience in dealing with the conditions. August 15 to 29 for the harvest. A yield of 31hl/ha. Drinking range: 2024 - 2038 Rating: 93 Jane Anson, Decanter (May 2021)
50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Very much in the Alter Ego mould – lively, fruit-driven with that vineyard-fresh feel but with a little more structure than previous years. Pure and appetising but will age. Drinking range: 2026 - 2035 Rating: 17+ Julia Harding MW, www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2021)
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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