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.
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. Low SO2, as has been the case for a few years now in line with biodynamic principles. Back to normal yield this year of (a very welcome I would imagine) 45hl/ha. Harvest September 19 to October 19. 60% new oak, likely to be in barrels for the first year then large-sized oak casks for the second year. 55% of overall production in the 1st wine. Drinking Window 2028 - 2042.
98 points, Jane Anson, Decanter, June 2020.
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.