“There are few Chateaux that I would unquestionably say should be a First Growth if the 1855 classification was to be revised, but Palmer is one of them.”
JANE ANSON, INSIDE BORDEAUX
Today sees the release of Chateau Palmer 2019; a full 30% reduction versus the 2018 vintage, this is the lowest release price since 2014.
Chateau Palmer is one of the most captivating and collectable wines in the whole of the Medoc. The estate’s role of sensational vintages continues in 2019 with what top French critic Jean-Marc Quarin describes as “ultra precise” on the palate, giving it 97-98 points. Other critics have yet to release their scores on the wine.
Chateau Palmer regularly competes with the First Growths when it comes to quality and is always one of the most popular wines released during En Primeur, particularly with such a price reduction.
The 55 hectare site, located on the gravel plateau in the centre of Margaux, converted to biodynamic farming in 2014. Thomas Duroux (Directeur General of Chateau Palmer) says: "The biodynamic approach gives more identity in each block, and we can understand the diversity and adapt the winemaking". The average age of the vines is 40-45 years old and they are formed of a roughly even split between Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, plus around 6% Petit Verdot. The assemblage in 2019 is 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 43% Merlot and 6% Petit Verdot.
Inter-plot vinification of 54 separate terroir sites takes place in 54 individual tanks prior to blending, at which point the wine is designated to make up part of the Grand Vin or its second label, Alter Ego de Palmer. The quantity of the Grand Vin produced has been dramatically reduced since the introduction of Alter Ego de Palmer in 1988.
Chateau Palmer has cemented its position in the very top echelon of fine wine’s greats. A consistently high-scoring Margaux, the Troisieme Cru Grand Vin is one of the most sought-after and iconic wines in the world.
A joyous wine that bristles with zest and energy. Clearly not the super-concentration of the 2018 (when the mildew-reduced yield was only 11 hl/ha), but rich and profound and a degree more elegant. Morello cherry and dark-fruit aromas. Beautiful texture, the tannins present but refined. Fresh and vibrant with a long, palate-cleansing finish. (JL)
Jancis Robinson MW (January 43987) Score: 18.5/20 Drink 2028-2045
|6x75cl||-||0 Immediate | 1 Marketplace||£1,191.00|
|12x75cl||-||0 Immediate | 1 Marketplace||£2,383.00|
|Mags||-||0 Immediate | 3 Marketplace||£397.00|
|6L||-||0 Immediate | 1 Marketplace||£1,667.00|
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"Iris and violet aromatics swirl out of the glass. In the mouth, things are velvet in texture and packed with concentrated cassis puree and blackberry fruit, gentle spice, soft charcoal and sappy tannins, with the whole thing just slowly slowly expanding and building through the palate, tightening its grip as it reaches the close of play. The Palmer signature of energy and precision is here in spades, and altogether the wine is both measured and elegant, with textbook floral Margaux character, while being extremely juicy, creamy and enjoyable, with a mouthwatering salinity on the finish - up there with the very best vintages of this estate."
98 points - Jane Anson, Decanter