2011 Palmer



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Average critic rating : 94.17 points

96

96

The opaque blue/purple-colored 2011 Palmer reveals a stunning bouquet of licorice, truffles, camphor, spring flowers, black raspberries and black currants. One of the superstars of the vintage, this brilliant 2011 possesses superb concentration and purity, medium to full body, and remarkable length of close to a minute. A tour de force in winemaking, the Palmer team merits accolades for achieving this level of quality in a more challenging vintage than either 2009 or 2010. The “wine of the vintage” in Margaux, tiny yields of 20 hectoliters per hectare, a final blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, and a severe selection (only 55% of the production made it into Palmer) are the reasons for this success.||Winemaker Thomas Duroux continues to fine tune this already brilliant estate, producing first-growth quality wines year after year. Wine Advocate.April, 2014

91-93

91-93

The 2011 Palmer has a ripe sweet bouquet of black cherries, blueberry, a touch of iodine and crushed violets, flamboyant as usual. There is a hint of cough candy that develops with time. The palate is medium-bodied with a firm grip. There is a carapace of toasty tannins underneath which lies a core of dense black fruit, although it does not have the same degree of finesse on the finish as say, Rauzan Segla. This is quite a serious Margaux, one that probably deserves longer ageing than others to allow those brusque, rigid tannins to soften. Tasted April 2012. Neal Martin, eRobertParker.com

95-96

95-96

Palmer only made 20 hectoliters of wine a hectare. That must be the record for the smallest production in the vintage. Extraordinary concentration for the vintage with full body and rich velvety tannins yet it's fresh and intense. Really impressive and powerful. Wow. One of the wines of the vintage. jamessuckling.com

92-95

92-95

Shows an ample core of kirsch and bright cherry fruit that's very expressive, with flecks of white pepper, violet and tobacco. The racy acidity is well-embedded, and this has solid length, with a velvety edge in reserve that lets extra cassis and violet notes emerge. Should stretch out nicely during the rest of its élevage. Tasted non-blind. WineSpectator.com

18.5

18.5

55% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon. 13% press wine. This year it was more a case of 'infusion' than extraction – to get the colour, fruit and structure without too much tannin. The free-run juice was very pure, the press wine creamy. Deep dark cherry colour. Again aromatic, less floral than the Alter Ego (which has all the Petit Verdot), graphite and dark, elegant fruit, not in the least leafy. Really mineral. Tannins are so polished and so fine though they coat the mouth with a very fine layer and add to the freshness. Cool and utterly long and clear. Tannins are very hard to describe because there is a dry finesse but also a creamy roundness that comes later in the mouth. No spicy exoticism in this vintage, plenty of classicism. Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com

18.5

18.5

Dense colour, ripe red and black fruits, superb concentration and controlled power, very polished and intensely expressive, 1st Growth quality. Drink 2017-2035. Decanter.com

93-94

93-94

From an assemblage of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine reached 13.5% alcohol. Flowers, boysenberry, truffle and earthy scents are found in the perfume. Soft, supple and bright, the wine ends with fresh, sweet, crisp cassis and black raspberry. theWineCellarInsider.com

93-94

93-94

The 2011 Palmer expresses classic Margaux violets and roses with cedar spice on the nose. This wine is supple and round with a wonderful fleshy palate. The flavours are layered and long ranging from blackberries, violets and spices. This is a classic Palmer with a very long finish, nice depth and firm, ripe tannins. This is wine which will open up and offer a lot more in the long term. Cellar for a decade at least before enjoying. AsianPalate.com

17

17

From a blend of 55% Merlot and 45 % Cab Sauv the 2011 Palmer was cropped at just 20hl/ha because of hail and drought. It has a lifted plummy nose and a dense, concentrated, fruity mid-palate. Very dark in character (sloes, damsons, currants) and with formiddable tannin levels which will allow it to age very well. A decent effort considering the challenges faced.



Graphs indicate market price trends as calculated by FINE+RARE’s internal market making system and are for guidance only. E&OE.

Chart showing (to 28/11/2016) market price for 12x75cl standard case:

Palmer 2011
-£61.00     (-3.5%) Latest price:  £1,680.00
View more charts

Chateau Palmer: The Importance

In the words of Robert Parker: “Palmer can be as profound as many first growths, and in vintages such as 1961, 1966, 1067, 1970, 1975, 1983, 1989, 1995, 2001, 2004, and 2005 it can be better than many of them.” Judging by recent scores from Wine Advocate 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015 would all likely vie to feature on that list too.

 

In fact in some years Château Palmer has surpassed the dominance of the First Growths, as Neal Martin explains: “There have been periods in history when Château Palmer has gently eased the crown from the head of Château Margaux to become the most esteemed wine within the commune.” He goes on to denounce its ranking in the 1855 Classification: “Few would argue that its status as a Third Growth does complete injustice to Palmer's wines over the last four decades, particularly since its immortal 1961 vintage [100 points, Neal Martin] practically invented the term ‘super-Second’.”

 

Château Palmer has cemented its position in the very top echelon of fine wine’s greats. At time of writing, the innovative wine rating website Wine Lister placed Palmer only a fraction behind Le Pin, on a scale of Bordeaux wines, with a scoring system based on critic data, distribution, popularity, ageing-potential, price and liquidity. The high esteem this brand is held in was proven by a barrel of 2015 Palmer selling at a Sotheby’s auction in Hong Kong for HK$3m, six times its expected value.


Chateau Palmer: The Insight

A consistently high-scoring Margaux, the Grand Vin is one of the most sought-after and iconic wines in the world. The quantity produced has been dramatically reduced since the introduction of Alter Ego de Palmer (around 10,000 cases per year), making it harder to get one’s hands on. The high Merlot content makes Palmer unique on the Left Bank, although the die-hard fans would say that this is the true taste of Margaux.

 

Alter Ego de Palmer (around 8,000 cases per year) is a second label not a second wine, although many still view it that way. The launch of this label boosted the quality of Palmer’s Grand Vin and also provides an accessible way to experience this incredible winery. Jeff Leve, of The Wine Cellar Insider, says: “If a reclassification ever took place, it would certainly deserve Fourth Growth Status.”

 

Château Palmer also occasionally produces Palmer Historical XIX Century Wine – a nod to a nineteenth century tradition of bolstering Bordeaux varietals with ripeness from the Northern Rhône, in this case 15% Syrah – and a white made from Muscadelle, Loset and Sauvignon Gris. Production of these wines is only around 100 cases, they are therefore rarely seen.

 

Palmer owns Château Desmirail in Margaux, which again offers a very affordable insight into this brand.
 

Chateau Palmer: The Background

Originally part of Château d’Issan, the vineyards were separated and what is now Château Palmer became Château de Gascq. Owner Madame de Gascq, who apparently boasted that her wines were as good as Lafite’s, sold the property to Charles Palmer, a British field officer in the Duke of Wellington’s army. Pulling on his charm and connections to the Prince Regent, he managed to increase the size and standing of the estate considerably. When he died Château Palmer passed to the Pereire family, banker brothers and rivals of the Rothschilds, who built the famous conical roofed château and vastly elevated the status of the estate, unfortunately not quite in time for the 1855 Classifications. The Pereire brothers were forced to sell under the combined weight of The Great Depression, phylloxera and war. The site was rescued by a number of families, two of which still form the majority shareholders today: Mähler-Besse and Sichel.

 

Winemaking is currently carried out by Thomas Duroux, formerly of Tenuta Dell’Ornellaia, who has over seen many of the greatest vintages produced. The 66 hectare site located on the gravel plateau in the centre of Margaux has moved to biodynamic farming. Thomas Duroux says: "The biodynamic approach gives more identity in each block, and we can understand the diversity and adapt the winemaking." Cabernet Franc has been removed and the 40 year old vines are formed of a roughly even split of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon plus around 6% Petit Verdot.

 



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