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.
Vivid colours, and the aromatics grab hold straight away. This is intense and concentrated, elegant, balanced and classical, all about the texture which is velvety and seductive with softly-grained tannins. Moves oh so slowly through the palate with dozens of layers to get hold of. The overall feel is precise, slow and seductive, with appellation and estate signature at every turn. Sappy, hawthorn freshness, rosemary, redcurrant, tobacco, cigar box and dark chocolate shavings on the finish. 3.77pH, 78IPT, 55% of overall production, with 13% press wine. Drinking Window 2028 - 2044
97 points, Decanter (May 2021)
48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 48% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot. Cask sample.
The Merlot provides the broad sweep and touch of sweetness on entry, the Cabernet the fine but punchy tannins that drive the wine. Lots of life and persistence, the tannins fine-grained and fresh. Clear potential.
18+ points, James Lawther, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
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.