Château Palmer, 3ème Cru Classé, Margaux, 2017

  Château Palmer

If there were one or two dissenting voices over Alter Ego, there was no such disunion over the Palmer. This is spot on, exactly how Palmer should be, dark, sexy and a bit flashy. There's 12% press wines in the final blend, which comprises 54% Merlot, 42% Cab Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot. This has a wonderful purity and fragrance on the nose. Detailed black cherries, inky dark fruit interspersed with gravelly minerals and a touch of garrigue - there's something very noble and haunting about the aromas that develop in the glass. On the palate this is classically velvety with luxuriant dark fruit and exotic spice. It fills the mouth with bountiful fruit; so pure and decadent yet controlled. Although the tannins are modern, with their velour texture hey are laced with swathes of ripe dark fruit; this remains vital and vibrant with a good seam of acidity. A real seductress.

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 | Petit Verdot

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, with Malbec adding extra smoky, earthy complexity. Also experimented with in parts of Napa too, such as at Dominus and Cain Five.