Regarded a “Super Second” (but technically a 3me growth), Palmer is capable of producing wines that equal or even outstrip the quality of its famous Premier cru neighbour, Ch. Margaux.
Named for the wealthy English military man who bought the estate in the early 19th century, Palmer is now majority owned by the Mahler Besse and Sichel families - famous Bordeaux negociants.
Many of the best plots on the property were purchased after the Classification of 1855, explaining in part why Palmer did not warrant higher standing at that time. Certainly today there is no question that the wine is among Bordeaux’s best.
The estate also makes a separate second label - named Alter Ego - which is made from similarly high quality fruit but treated differently in the winery with the aim of producing a counterpoint in style to the First wine.
The black/purple-colored 2009 Palmer exhibits a level of tannin that exceeds anything they have previously produced. The final blend is 52% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 7% Petit Verdot, and the finished alcohol is 13.9%. It is hard to say this 2009 will turn out better than Palmer’s extraordinary 2005, but it certainly will be different in style given the alcohol level and power of this vintage. Pure blackberry and black currant fruit notes intermixed with hints of incense, graphite, and wood are followed by an opulent, thick, juicy wine with plenty of structure, and enormous concentration, mass, and length. Four to five years of patience is required, but this beauty should last for three decades or more. 94-96/100 Robert Parker Jr.
Loaded with exotic fruit, with masses of crushed blackberry and blueberry. Superclear and fruit forward. Full and velvety, with fresh acidity and a long, long finish. This is almost in your face, but reserved in a way. Superseductive. 95-98/100 Wine Spectator
2009 Chateau Palmer is more powerful that its outstanding second wine Alter Ego, and shows roasted espresso/ mocha/ cassis aromas, superb fruit complexity, concentration and freshness. It has some real sinuous muscle that pervades on the palate giving the wine a litheness, generosity and aging potential 95-97/100 Andrew Caillard, MW Langton's
On Bordeaux’s Left Bank, near the southern end of the Haut-Médoc, lies Margaux, one of the most celebrated villages in the world of wine. Margaux is home to Château Margaux, the revered first-growth property, as well as 20 more Grand Cru Classé estates ranked in the 1855 classification of Bordeaux. The acclaimed wine of Margaux benefits from the diverse soil types in the appellation.
In general, Margaux has a very thin layer of topsoil, and the very best vineyards, above the Gironde River, have gravelly soils that encourage deep root growth and allow for good drainage. Because of the variations in soil, Margaux wines can range from delicately flavoured to highly concentrated, from medium- to full-bodied. Yet all Margaux wines share a fragrant bouquet, silky texture and remarkable balance. Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in the wines of Margaux, as it does throughout the Left Bank, with Merlot and Cabernet Franc used in small percentages for blending. Because of their excellent aging potential, the best Margaux wines are prized by collectors.