Alter Ego de Château Palmer, Margaux, 2017

  Château Palmer

After the disappointment of the 2016 Alter Ego, this was certainly back on message, although it did cause a bit of division in our group. Most thought it was a return to the sexy, dark fruited, mineral laden, decadent, dark cherry, glossy, rather lavish, mocha style we have become accustomed to, whilst one or two thought it was a touch hollow and dry. The Palmer team continue to farm biodynamically and have chosen to incorporate 13.5% press wine in the final blend. 53% Merlot, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot. An almost unanimous 'yes'.

Contains Sulphites.

About Château Palmer

The eponymous General Charles Palmer purchased this estate in 1814 having stumbled across the region whilst making his way back home after the Battle of Toulouse. The General moved in high society and marketed his wine successfully in London. The current owners are the Sichel family and the negociant company Mahler-Besse. The vineyards are renowned for their high percentage of Merlot plantings (47%); contrary to the popular theory that one plants one’s best gravel croupes with Cabernet Sauvignon. It is this high percentage of Merlot that gives the wine such a seductive texture and such an exotic character. The estate’s second wine, Alter Ego (previously Reserve de General) is also excellent.

Appellation: Margaux

The wines tend to show more perfume and roundness than neighbour St-Julien, Pauillac, and St-Estèphe, whilst retaining a certain structure and concentration. Margaux is the most southerly and most extensive of the famous Médoc communes, a patchwork of vineyards with lesser parcels classed purely as Haut-Médoc. A myriad of soil mixtures can be found, clay, limestone, and gravel. Though quality is not always consistent here, the potential is great as more Margaux properties were included in the 1855 classification of the Médoc and Graves than any other appellation.

The two leading lights are the highly sought after Châteaux Margaux and Palmer, though there are several other solid performers including Brane-Cantenac, Rauzan-Ségla, Durfort-Vivens, Lascombes, Giscours, Ferrières, Malescot St Exupery and Luc Thienpont’s new boutique vineyard, Clos des Quatre Vents.

Grape Blend: Cab. Sauvignon | Merlot

A classic partnership. The stock left bank Bordeaux blend also used to good affect in the New World. Cabernet's, acidic, tannic complex qualities marry ideally with Merlot's sweet, softy flesh characteristics.